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Lake Wheel Tax to be Addressed at County Commission Meeting

Posted 10/9/19

HUNTINGDON (October 7) — Cyril and Jan Ostiguy of Huntingdon, both retired private citizens, received approval Monday to address the full body of the Carroll County Commission on Monday, …

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Lake Wheel Tax to be Addressed at County Commission Meeting

Posted

HUNTINGDON (October 7) — Cyril and Jan Ostiguy of Huntingdon, both retired private citizens, received approval Monday to address the full body of the Carroll County Commission on Monday, October 14 concerning the $10 wheel tax to construct and develop the Carroll County 1000-Acre Recreational Lake. The Resolution Committee, consisting of Joel Washburn, Lori Nolen, Manuel Crossno and John Mann voted to allow the Ostiguys to address the commission. Commissioner Larry Spencer was absent.

The lake, which was estimated to cost $10 million, actually cost $27,272,500 to date. That cost continues to expand as the lake’s owner, Carroll County Watershed Authority, continues to add enhancements to the lake. Carroll County Watershed Authority members are appointed by the governor. Members include Chairman Tommy Surber, Secretary Dale Kelley, Bob Clark, Natalie Porter, Joseph Butler and Joe Smothers.

A referendum in November 2000 was approved by the voters by 5,441 to 4,851 to add the annual $10 wheel tax for each registered motorized vehicle in the county. The referendum indicated the local taxpayers would pay 30 percent of the cost of construction and development. In January 2003, when the wheel tax started, Carroll County Commission approved a resolution indicating the county will collect the $10 wheel tax to fund up to $3,000,000, which was the estimated 30 percent of the lake’s cost of construction and development. Since 2003, approximately $4 million has been remitted by the county to the Carroll County Watershed Authority. The wheel tax is expected to continue until 2034.

Additionally, the county of Carroll transfers approximately $50,000 in “growth funds” annually as part of the growth in taxes from improvements to real estate in the lake region. That growth fund was approved by the County Commission via a resolution.

According to an audit filed with the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office, for the year 2017-18, a total of $246,902 was collected in wheel tax and another $52,785 from the growth tax. The total revenue for the CCWA was $430,326 and had net losses of $347,566, which varies according to amounts of state grants and other expenses.

The town of Huntingdon holds the bonds on the lake and has guaranteed up to $12,000,000 in the event the Watershed Authority is unable to make the payments on the indebtedness. Bonds are payable through 2055.

The Ostiguys circulated petitions at the Carroll County Fair and other locations asking county commissioners to take action on the wheel tax.

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