Dec 26 2015
06:21 pm

Morgan County has yet to realize that it is a gateway community to beautiful wild lands that are the equal of any park in the Southeast. I am constantly amazed at people who oppose additions to state parks and TWRA lands because "It takes land off the tax rolls". Yes it does. But I challenge anyone to show how these wild lands were receiving county services any where close to the taxes they were paying. They had no homes requiring fire and police protection, no families whose children needed schools, no roads, no nothing that the county was obligated to provide. But they were being charged on the tax roles. Gee, what a deal for politicians and what a burden for the property owners.

Look, GIS studies prove that lands adjacent to parks, natural areas, and wilderness areas more than make up for lost revenue because they radically increase in value over time. Ask Oneida if the Big South Fork has been a boon to its economy? Ask Gatlinburg if the Great Smoky Mountain National Park has been a boon to its economy? When I was on the TN Conservation Commission Gov. Bredesen doubled the size of Fall Creek Falls park. If you look at where the building boom has been in the last 8 years it magically surrounds the Park. People want to be near wild areas.

I suggest the County Exec for Morgan County rejoice in another almost 2000 acres being added to the wilderness majesty of his county and invite people from all over the world to come visit Morgan County to see its majestic beauty. That's much better than loading up a tax burden on lands you don't provide services to. And the whole world will be a better place for it.

Thank you, Tom Humphrey for alerting us to this story...


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