Low taxes are good, they also mean less government
People who are new to East Tennessee should remember a few key realities about life here.
1. The apparent lack of amenities from government is a trade-off. Yes, we have no income tax in Tennessee, and we might complain about property and sales taxes, but we are all aware of just how low our relative tax burden is. We also don’t pay our public officials very much, unlike the kinds of salaries many people on government payrolls make in the heavily-unionized rust belt. County Commissioners in this writer’s county make $300 a month. Tennessee legislators who actually live well outside of Nashville make just over $19,000 per annum-just above the poverty line (the ones who live near Nashville sponge off of their per diem allowances, and therefore make quite a bit more), and most all of them have another job or career. There are a few exceptions-Knox County Commissioners are notoriously overpaid-but for the most part, many of our public officials aren’t paid much so that government can afford to provide you the services that it does on a changing revenue stream. Remember that the services people get are based on what they collectively pay
A lot of good folks move to East Tennessee because of our lack of an income tax and our low cost of living. People do need to remember, however, that you can’t have low taxes and lots of amenities from government at the same time. If you want less government, you have to live like you want less government!