I have discovered 4 videos posted on youtube by former Commissioner Mark Harmon from April 17, 2009 where John Whitehead‘s opponent had a District 2 meeting at the Time Warp Tea Room. I have posted them here. I suspect that within the day Whitehead’s opponent will call Harmon and have them taken down just as he did when he called WATE and had the “Don Dare investigation on himself” taken down after it was linked on John Whitehead’s website. In preparation for these four videos to be taken down, I am going to give you soundbites under each video.
Part 1 is 9:07 in length. He said he was there to discuss the reappraisal’s and that his clock was 1/1/2005 – 1/1/2009. He said “if you’ll listen…I think I can get you up to speed a little bit better that the papers or media can do, 2-3 inch columns in a paper or 6 minutes on Gene Patterson you just can’t grasp the reappraisal process” In the reappraisal process, they look at cost, market and income. Income is primarily used on commercial property. He stated that Knox County has 190,800 parcels in the 526 miles of Knox County. In 2008 there were 4500 sales and in 2007 6500 sales. He stated that his dataline is 1981, Knox County began doing it’s own appraisals in 1983. He only uses “valid sales”, He says the state does not allow foreclosures or bankruptcies to be considered for a valid sale. He stated that “his book of business ended on 1/1/2009. That it will not reopen until 2013. He stated that he couldn’t talk to them about 2007/2008. He said when the property value went up in 2005/2006 your property value or taxes did not increase, you didn’t pay more
Part 2 is 9:10 in length. He began with foreclosures are up, employment is down. “Countrywide Mortgage, the king of predator lending” He said home values down. He again said he would not talk about 2007/2008. He said is is about the process of 2005/2008. He said “we just have not seen the amount of foreclosures here that others have.” He discussed cutbacks at Alcoa, Sea Ray, Goody’s and Brunswick. He put up a picture of a home for sale in Williamson County and said “if you buy this house in Williamson County, they will put the Mercedes in your garage.” Man, that is a good gift for buying a house. But I digress. He said that Tennessee is the 16th most populated state in America and 19th in foreclosures. He said in the 2nd qtr there were 691 foreclosures. He said in Knox County in 2008 were 1500 foreclosures. In Nashville County there were 3800 and in Shelby County / Memphis there were 6700 foreclosures but 6500 new home sales. In 1998.
He said that from 1998-2007 the median income in Knox County was $50,000 and that the median price home sale was $159,000. He said that Knoxville ain’t been hit by recession like the rest, you can look at any numbers in the books. He said your homes appreciated in 2005/2006. “When it boomed, you didn’t have to pay more money”
Part 3 is 9:39 in length. He said that when the market was hot it was up 28%. In 2008 in Knox County our increase was 15% while other counties like Union, Greene and Scott were up 20-40%. He talked about Hamilton County (Chattanooga) He said there are areas that really bring the values up like Red Bank and Soddy Daisy. He said Farragut and Hardin Valley are not like Red Bank and Soddy Daisy. It just doesn’t bring our values up.
He talked about revenue neutral. If property goes up, the tax rate goes down. He said that the city tax rate was $2.81 and the county was $2.69 He said that in West Knox home sale in 2004-2008 they increased and then tapers off. He said if your reappraisal went up 16.6% on a $150,000 home that your previous tax bill was $1008.75 but with a 16.6% reappraisal your tax bill would go down to $1001.80 If your appraisal went up 25% he said that is really only a 10% increase cause when it went up 15% they (county commission) reduced the tax rate. That would cause your tax bill to increase to $1073. a $64.68 increase.
He said that’s not media newsworthy. What is media newsworthy he asked. 50% increase is what he answered to his own question. He went on to say, that’s what you see in newsprint. He said, “I say, Knoxville don’t panic”
Part 4 is 8:10 in length. He pointed out that Commissoner Mark Harmon and Commissioner Dr. Richard Briggs were present as was John from IT. He also had staff members Cathy Murrell,Bob Kohol, Paula Rudder and Jordan.
He said that the commissioners have a tougher job, figuring out how to spend all the money. He said there were a ton of refinancing going on right now. He said “out in west knoxville where there’s new subdivisions there is little change.
He finished with “we have not done a bad job, this time”