STATEMENT FROM CHATTANOOGA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS PRESIDENT RANDY DURHAM
Our Realtor Association has learned through local media reports of the budget proposals Mayor Littlefield has presented for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. To say the least, we are extremely concerned at this point to learn of his request for an extraordinary 33% increase in City property taxes.The Mayor has spoken of “tough choices” if there is not a tax increase. As REALTORS®, we believe that property owners will have almost no choices at all regarding their family finances if they are presented with this illogical and unnecessary added tax burden. More than most people and groups, our members know from their daily experiences with home buyers and sellers how fragile our local economic recovery is, and continues to be. While the Greater Chattanooga Area has gradually regained strength back from the worst local recession in our lifetime, it’s not beyond question that it could come undone by injudicious choices made by our political leadership.There are other options available to address the budget shortfall – choices that will help advance the needs of the City, its residents and employees – and we have no doubt that the City Council will wisely examine the proposal for areas that contain expenditures that are more reflective of “want” vs. “need”.Our Association and its over 1,500 members will always stand ready to work with the Mayor, the City Council, and all City Departments in assuring that the coming process is open, fair, and in the best interests of taxpayers throughout Chattanooga. We are prepared for a full dialog and exchange of ideas, and we hope that the Mayor and City Council will welcome our input and that of other concerned citizens.We believe in supporting our leaders when they fully represent the public’s interests – and providing our best advice and loyal opposition to them when we feel they have made unwise decisions. Without question, this is a situation that we will continue to closely monitor.