Its about water again.
It may seem that I have water on the brain this month but I promise not to mention it again after having my say about Detention Ponds. Detention ponds are depressions in the ground usually built by developers to control storm run-off water that is required by law. As the description implies, a Detention pond detains water for a pre-determined period of time as opposed to a Retention pond, which retains water until it naturally depletes or is replenished. What do I want to know this for, you are likely thinking - well these ponds are costing you money, that's why.
Seems that for years local developers have been building these ponds as a condition of getting development approval from the planning commission, but many have not been adequately engineered or constructed to handle the storm water as required by the law.
It might be reasonable to believe that if a pond didn't perform as required, it should be fixed by the developer until it does. Not in Cleveland it doesn't. Developers have come up with a sly way of avoiding responsibility by allowing the lot on which the pond sits to fall into public ownership by not paying property tax on it.
The developer pays lip service to the regulations by doing a cheap and shoddy job, then walk, leaving the taxpayer to pick up the mess. Apparently it's been going on for years with you footing the bill.
Now though, a homeowner is threatening to sue local government - you pay again - and no one seems to know what to do about it. A simple answer might be to make those responsible ante-up or revoke their business license and refuse to process future permits. What do you think? Give me a call on 559-2150.
What is a Guild anyway?
A company located in the Five Points redevelopment area calling itself The Cleveland Creative Arts Guild says it is a not-for-profit organization so therefore shouldn't pay property tax, not only on the property it occupies but on the property it owns but rents.... churches do it so why shouldn't they.
Sounds like a good way to avoid paying taxes - no, just think about it for a moment... you think up a fancy and prestigious name for your company like The Tabloid Publishing Council (really The People News but keep it quiet)... You make sure you spend all the money you make so you don't make a profit (that should be easy)... you find an honest and upright local official to recommend you (that may be harder but Commissioner Michael Plumley did it for them so he should oblige) and you're all set - no more property tax, no more fire tax - ever.
Is that a good idea or what? What do you think? call me at 559-2150 or better still call Michael Plumley at 479-8228
Is the state really cutting back?
There has been enormous excitement from taxpayers that at last, Tennessee has a Governor that is cutting back on government spending by trimming the fat and eliminating hundreds of state jobs. As one of those ecstatic taxpayers I am becoming a little confused by the newfangled Nashville calculating system.
Year 2001-2 state budget was $19.5 billion.
Year 2002-3 (last year) was $20.4 billion, that included the widely publicized record $0.9 billion increase (5%)
Gov. Bredesen's proposed cost cutting budget for 2003-4 is $21.5 billion, an increase over the previous budget for a new record of $1.1 billion - not a cost cutting decrease.
Is it my math that is wrong or could it explain why the liberal media and the Democrats in Nashville are not kicking up a fuss at the proposed cuts. The legislative halls of Nashville are reported to endow it's residents with inhuman and mystical powers so there must be illogical reasoning that can explain the apparent discrepancy. What do you think? call me at 559-2150 or for a clearer explanation call your state representatives.
The Miller and Bunch saga.
I've been waiting with anticipation for our two legislative loonies to come through with their brilliant plan to tax Bradley's free newspapers into extinction under the disguise of litter control. Phrased perfectly by one of our readers, "surely they can think of a better excuse than that." Somehow I don't think he allowed for the fact that they are both practicing attorneys. What a waste of a good education. What do you think? Call me at 559-2150.