Sumner County schools remain shut down after a tax increase failed to pass Monday night. This is a case in which almost every side has a point. The schools have had to do too much with too little for too long. And people are still hurting, so passing a tax increase is therefore difficult. It really, really hurts a county to have kids not be in school and it really, really hurts kids.
But only almost every side has a point. Then there's Sumner County Commissioner Paige Brown, quoted in the Tennessean:
“If we could just put a property tax on residents, that would be one thing, but it affects businesses — even those that may not be realizing any cash flow,” Brown said, adding that the business tax is 40 percent per $100 of assessed value, versus the 25 percent homeowners pay. “They have already been hurt by the declining economy, and they are fearful of the health-care changes coming. It’s just hard for businesses.”
Where to even start? ObamaCare is to blame for kids not being in school? Bwah ha ha ha ha. OK, forget that. I think that's kind of beside the point. Here's my question: Aren't businesses going to lose money either way? Either you pay more in taxes or you lose money because people either don't have it to spend because they're trying to cover the tuition on private schools or you lose money because families move to where there's a functioning school system.
Is it better to lose money because your community kills itself by not having a functioning school system or better to lose money to taxes? That seems to me to be the question Sumner county businesses need to ask themselves.