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Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017

Tax breaks: Are they fair?

Posted Thursday, December 27, 2007, at 9:06 AM

Those of you eligible to vote who bothered to do so last year may remember a constitutional amendment on the ballot authorizing a property tax freeze for elderly homeowners.

"Just seven of Tennessee's 95 counties have enacted a property tax freeze for elderly homeowners that was authorized by voters last year," the Associated Press reports.

"If approved by local officials, the tax freeze applies to elderly homeowners who earn less than the average income of all residents between the ages of 65 and 74 in their county. If they qualify, they will be exempt from future tax increases on their property."

Should the elderly get a tax break here? I think they deserve some help after all they've contributed in many ways over the years. I can see, though, how others could disagree.

On a related note, incoming new industries and businesses have received tax breaks for years -- which continue for years after their arrival. I guess that helps attract them, but is that totally fair to existing residents, businesses and industries? It's been argued that those firms which get tax breaks attract new residents and businesses which do add to the tax coffers.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I think giving the elderly a break is great especially after they have lost their spouse and are living on a limited income.

I don't agree with new industry getting a break, Dell Computer is a perfect example. The State of Tennessee gave them the land to build and a great tax break. In return Dell guaranteed a certain number of jobs for Tennesseans a few yrs. Now they are outsourcing to India and other places while Tennesseans are loosing their jobs with Dell.

-- Posted by Disgusted on Thu, Dec 27, 2007, at 1:09 PM

Tax breaks for our elderly, absolutely.

Tax breaks to businesses to maintain our level of employment and current population, sure.

Tax breaks to bring in new industry so our population will grow need to be closely considered. In all cases I have seen, the "growth" ends up being paid by the existing residents and tax income never keeps up with population demands.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Dec 27, 2007, at 3:19 PM

I'm glad you blogged this David.

My elderly dad was "griping" about this very thing after paying his taxes last week.

NO ONE there has a satisfactory answer for him. I hope someone, somewhere reading this does.

-- Posted by mmp84 on Thu, Dec 27, 2007, at 10:24 PM

Well, apparently noone has an answer.

Please don't give up on finding this out David. Some of our elderly just can't seem to get a break.

-- Posted by mmp84 on Thu, Jan 3, 2008, at 7:46 AM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.