This is a letter to the editor of the Johnson City Press that was submitted by Joshua Arrowood. Fabulous job!!

Dear Editor:

Recently, there has been discussion of a wheel tax in Washington County. Some in the County Commission want to create a new tax because of opposition to increasing the current property taxes. This is similar to the situation with a state income tax a few years ago. It turned out we didn’t need an income tax then, and I don’t think we need a wheel tax now.

If the government’s expenditures grow at the same rate as the economy and inflation, there should be a continuing increase in the money raised by taxes based on a percentage of value, like sales and property taxes. Property that was once worth $50,000.00 may now be worth $100,000.00, so the County should be getting twice as much in revenue. And since the value of property has gone up much faster than inflation, the County should receive an increase in taxes greater than the increase in costs. Homeowners are now paying a higher percentage tax on property that is already inflated in value.

Also, a wheel tax is very regressive. The owner of a beat up Chevy pays as much tax as someone who owns a new Lexus, even though the Chevy owner probably has much more trouble paying the new tax.

If the County is receiving more money than ever, why do the new schools need a new tax or any extra taxes? This should be explained before any more taxes are raised.

Joshua Arrowood