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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Exclamation Delinquent taxes? No fire protection.

    I had to read this twice to be sure it said what I thought it said . . .


    No tax money, no service in SF (Tennessee)

    By CHRIS MENEES

    Messenger Staff Reporter

    Frustrated over non-payment of property taxes, the South Fulton City Commission voted 3-2 Thursday night to suspend police and fire service to residents who are delinquent.

    South Fulton Mayor Kent Greer made the motion to suspend the service to city residents after saying that the commission will have to "get aggressive" on dilapidated property and delinquent taxes. He said when he examined the tax situation a couple months ago, he discovered that less than 50 percent of the city's residents had paid their property taxes at that time.

    Greer asked city attorney Karl Ivey if the city is obligated to continue to provide police and fire services to residents who do not pay their taxes. Ivey indicated he would research the legality of the matter and report back to the commission.

    "We're going to have to be aggressive," Greer said.

    He then made his motion to suspend all city police and fire protection to anyone with unpaid taxes in South Fulton. Vice Mayor Johnny Bivens seconded the motion.

    Commissioner Charles Moody questioned sending residents a notice beforehand and Ivey indicated he would like to check on the matter and advise the commission before a vote is taken. Greer persisted, however, saying it's time for commissioners to be "mice or men."

    Greer, Bivens and commissioner Thomas Pettigrew voted in favor of suspending the service, with commissioners Charles Moody and David James casting the two dissenting votes.

    "We may end up going to court. You gotta go out on a limb sometime," Greer said.

    The tax situation became an issue at Thursday night's commission meeting after South Fulton city manager Kathy Dillon told commissioners she is beginning "a hard approach" on slum property and grass ordinances. She said she has met with the city judge, attorney and police officers, adding that she should soon have a report for commissioners.

    "I'm taking a very active approach on slum and dilapidated property and junk cars -- and water bills," Ms. Dillon said.

    She had indicated earlier in the meeting that a significant number of utility bills have been shut off for non-payment and a considerable amount of delinquent utility funds collected to date.

    Ms. Dillon said there are more than 40 unkempt properties, plus several others with unmowed grass and a number of junk vehicles. The city is in the process of sending out letters to violators.

    "We're getting a lot of calls about snakes coming out of the long grass," she said.

    Unfortunately, Ms. Dillon said, the process to cite violators is a lengthy process which begins with a warning citation and then a summons to city court, which convenes just once a month. By that time, two months has passed, she said.
    ullrichk
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  2. #2
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    That would work great.

    You want to beat the wife and kids...go ahead. Just dont' pay the taxes and then start handing out the black eyes because no cops are comming here!

    You want to collect on that insurance policy on the double wide? Just burn it down. No Fire dept will come or investigate...or by the time they do it will be so burnt down that it will be almost impossible for billy bob the county fire chief to figure out how it started or even where!

    FTM-PTB

  3. #3
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    What are these people thinking??? What are police and fire supposed to do when they get a call? Are they supposed to look up the address in a book to see if they paid their taxes? I think they are opening a bigger can of worms by not providing the protection to these people. Cite them. if they don't pay, they go to jail. If they don't cut their grass, they get a letter giving them 1 week. If they still don't, the city/township/whoever cuts it and bills them. If they don't pay the bill, they get cited. If they don't pay up then, they go to jail. Yes, it may be a lot of work, and it won't be done quickly, but once word starts to travel, I'm sure people will start taking care of their business.....

  4. #4
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Angry Welcome back mt friends to the show that never ends...

    This is another blatant example of the community's public safety departments being used as pawns in a game to get the geeta$ out of the deadbeats.

    Scenario:
    John Q. owes back taxes on his non owner occupied two family income property.

    The resident of the 1st floor apartment falls asleep while cooking and awakes to a full blown kitchen fire.

    The resident calls 911, but due to the nonpayment of taxes, the city refuses to send any fire appartus or police for traffic control. Alrge crowd gathers outside and a few civilians enter the buildinbg in an attempt to get people out. They immediately fall victim to smoke inhalation.

    The fire now extends to the second floor, trapping a young mother and her two children. They call 911 and plead for help . The homes next door are starting to ignite from the intense radiant heat as the fire blows out of the first floor windows. the fire has now grown to at least two and maybe three alarms, the civilians we have sworn to protect are dead, and who is going to look like the heavy?

    Hint: it isn't the mutts at City Hall! The mutts of the South Fulton City Commission should be run out of town on a rail!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    I can not believe this these politicians should be taken out of office.If I lived in that town I would be calling for an immediate recall.These council members truly are mutts, and should not be allowed to hold any political office.

  6. #6
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
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    Stupid stupid idea.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  7. #7
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Welcome back mt friends to the show that never ends...

    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    This is another blatant example of the community's public safety departments being used as pawns in a game to get the geeta$ out of the deadbeats.

    Scenario:
    John Q. owes back taxes on his non owner occupied two family income property.

    The resident of the 1st floor apartment falls asleep while cooking and awakes to a full blown kitchen fire.

    The resident calls 911, but due to the nonpayment of taxes, the city refuses to send any fire appartus or police for traffic control. Alrge crowd gathers outside and a few civilians enter the buildinbg in an attempt to get people out. They immediately fall victim to smoke inhalation.

    The fire now extends to the second floor, trapping a young mother and her two children. They call 911 and plead for help . The homes next door are starting to ignite from the intense radiant heat as the fire blows out of the first floor windows. the fire has now grown to at least two and maybe three alarms, the civilians we have sworn to protect are dead, and who is going to look like the heavy?

    Hint: it isn't the mutts at City Hall! The mutts of the South Fulton City Commission should be run out of town on a rail!
    Very good points, Gonzo........

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    Around here it is very simple. You don't pay your taxes, the city/county will file a lien on the property. The property can't be sold until the liens are paid off. The taxes are eventually paid and no one is denied services. The irony of the situation described here is that if the department failed to respond and the property was destroyed, the city would get even less if the property owner abandoned the property and walked away.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    You don't pay your taxes, the city/county will file a lien on the property. The property can't be sold until the liens are paid off.

    And up here if the taxes are far enough in arrears, they'll foreclose on the property to satisfy tax liens and auction it.

    Things like mowing the grass (or shoveling the sidewalks of snow) when they constitute a hazard, nuisance, or blight are also things Towns have the legal ability to do in my state, and place a lien against the property for reimbursement.
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  10. #10
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Have they tried Liens? Siezures?

    This would be a perfect town for a fire chief to serve more "welfare scum",loan money and reassure the towns people of JEALOSY!!!!!!!


    Public Safety should not be a partisan issue or politcal bargaining chip!!!!!!!!!!!
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    Like most states, tax arrears must, no doubt, be published publicly. Usually in the legal notices section of the local papers. Now the criminals can go through these addresses and plan their nights work, without fear of a 911 call getting them jammed up.

    Let's not forget the local firebug, he too can pick his addresses.

    I'd sure like to be in court with these folks when a fire from a tax scoff's house spread to mine due to no response from the FD.

  12. #12
    Forum Member cellblock's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    You don't pay your taxes, the city/county will file a lien on the property. The property can't be sold until the liens are paid off.

    And up here if the taxes are far enough in arrears, they'll foreclose on the property to satisfy tax liens and auction it.

    Things like mowing the grass (or shoveling the sidewalks of snow) when they constitute a hazard, nuisance, or blight are also things Towns have the legal ability to do in my state, and place a lien against the property for reimbursement.
    Ditto.
    We just had a big auction here last month with lots of properties being sold for back payment of taxes. Residents who aren't paying their sewer bills will be getting their water shut off in the next couple of months.

  13. #13
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    Ya know, I was trying to picture myself in that rather ugly situation; I'd like to think that I'd respond anyway. They could fire me if they want, but I'll be darned if I'd let someone die when I have the capability (and moral/ethical responsibility, IMHO) to try to prevent it, because of an inane political decision. It may be the last fire I get to go to (at least in that town), but I'd sure as hell go to it.

    Tony
    Still bucking the system after all these years

  14. #14
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Question And..............

    According to my Atlas, South Fulton is on the Tenn.- Ky. Line in the far Northwest corner of Tennessee. It appears to be a suburb of Fulton Ky. With a population of 2517, It's not very capable of doing much without the property tax income, from what I can see. While I wholeheartedly agree with those who would fry the Town's government, I think this the tip of the proverbial iceberg. This Community would seem to have a lot of problems far beyond what was reported here. Looks like time for major changes in local governance, I would even question if the town should continue to have ANY local Government at all. Over the years, here in Maryland, several towns have held referendums on dissolution of the local government, in favor of becoming an unincorporated part of the County, with the County providing all services. Seems like a good move to me.
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    Quite the epidemic of cranial rectosis..

  16. #16
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Default let the devil speak as the advocate

    police protection is a service. fire protection is a service. EMS is a service. going to the doctor is a service. garbage pick up is a service. utilities are a service. they all cost money to run.


    if you don't pay your phone bill, what happens? you think the phone company should continue to give you free service? what if you don't pay your electric bill. would you have any right to say anything if the company shut off your electricity? lets say you go to the hospital. they make you all better, and give you a bill. you don't want to pay it. what should they do?

    let me put this another way. the FD's budget is $100,000, raised by taxes. that is when 2500 people all pay their taxes. now, because 500 people aren't paying taxes, there is a problem. should the FD's budget be cut by 20%, should taxes be raised by 20% on the paying 2000 to make up for it, or should the budget be cut by 20%, as well as the response area by 20%, allowing the FD to still provide the same level of service to it's paying customers?

    and remember, isn't it the non-paying taxpayers who are at fault here? after all, they are the ones who are not paying their taxes. they are violating the law, and expecting to be protected just as if they were paying them. while the decision might not be the best, doesn't the root of the problem lay with the homeowners?

    just letting the Devil advocate for the other side
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  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Default Re: And..............

    Originally posted by hwoods
    According to my Atlas, South Fulton is on the Tenn.- Ky. Line in the far Northwest corner of Tennessee. It appears to be a suburb of Fulton Ky. With a population of 2517, It's not very capable of doing much without the property tax income, from what I can see.
    Astute observation. S. Fulton's problems are compounded by the fact that Tennessee (and its municipalities) have a much higher sales tax than Kentucky. As you might expect, there are precious few business in S. Fulton and, consequently, no sales tax income.

    Originally posted by hwoods
    I would even question if the town should continue to have ANY local Government at all. Over the years, here in Maryland, several towns have held referendums on dissolution of the local government, in favor of becoming an unincorporated part of the County, with the County providing all services. Seems like a good move to me.
    Only problem here is that there is no county fire department. South Fulton provides rural fire protection for an annual subscription fee - no pay, no protection. The situation is the same for the rest of the county, my department included (Union City - a little further south on Hwy 51). There are areas of the county with no fire protection whatsoever. The county is only legally required to provide sanitation services, police protection, and EMS if it is not otherwise provided.

    I thought theirs was an, uh, interesting approach to the problem at hand. Misguided, possibly illegal, but interesting. I haven't heard any new developments, but I'll post them when I do.
    ullrichk
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  18. #18
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Thank You..............

    ullrichk. Thanks, I had no idea that we would find someone that close to the subject. I guess I'm a bit overeager to promote our system, but there is so much BS in some areas of the Country. Im my mind, EVERYONE should get the closest help, every time, every where, without any concern for Politics. Many of Maryland's Counties have no mandate to provide ANY services, other than Law Enforcement and Education. State Laws require each County to have a Sheriff, and a Board of Education. Interestingly enough, the State also requires Street Addresses and a 911 center in each County. Provision of Emergency Services in most of the State is by Privately Incorporated, Non-Profit, Volunteer Organizations. Every Square Inch of the State of Maryland is protected by a Firefighting organization, Volunteer, Combination, or Career. 99 out of 100 times that someone calls for help, they get the closest help that is available. I have a tough time understanding why the whole Country can't operate like that. Do You, (or anyone else) know anything about the SFFD?? I've done a bit of searching on the web, with minimal results. It doesn't seem to be a large or busy enough place to have a Career Dept, certainly not by our standards. Last Question. Is the 105.5 miles up 51 from Memphis to Union City computed by going thru, or around, Dyersburg?
    Last edited by hwoods; 07-25-2004 at 06:29 PM.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thank You..............

    Originally posted by hwoods
    Do You, (or anyone else) know anything about the SFFD?? It doesn't seem to be a large or busy enough place to have a Career Dept, certainly not by our standards.
    SFFD is a combination department with three paid members to take care of vehicle maintenance, hydrants, and other day-to-day duties. Until recently they only had a mutual aid agreement with the Fulton (KY) FD. I understand that they now have an automatic aid agreement.

    Fulton is also a combination dept. with about three on a shift and a full time Chief and Asst. Chief. They run a BLS ambulance service which is their primary moneymaker (it pays for the day staff, anyway).

    As far as I know Obion County (where SFFD is) and Weakley County (bordering Obion to the east) are the only two counties in Tennessee that do not have 100% fire coverage by either municipal, private, or county departments.

    I'm not particularly proud of this state of affairs, but there's not much I can do about it at the moment.


    Last Question. Is the 105.5 miles up 51 from Memphis to Union City computed by going thru, or around, Dyersburg?
    Actually it's a great circle calculation so it's more like an as-the-crow-flies measurement. 130 road miles (plus or minus) through Dyersburg if you take 51. We'll actually be on the map when I-69 gets built.
    ullrichk
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  20. #20
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    Couldn't the government deduct a little extra from these people paychecks (assuming they are working)? I have heard this being done for dead beat parents who don't pay child support. I'm sure there are plenty of legalities and such but it seems like there is some way it could be done. I don't think cutting off service will help the problem at all, what will they do if an out of towner needs help or is involved in a fire? Will they refuse to help them because they don't pay taxes in the area? That's a bad example, but how far will/would it go?

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