Rep. Stacey Campfield and Senator Dwayne Bunch have bills in committee in Nashville that would prohibit spending public funds (taxpayer dollars) to support or oppose referendum issues.
Examples of local issues that are often placed on the ballot in cities and counties in Tennessee are wheel tax, sales tax, and liquor-by-the-drink referenda.
Campfield's bill HB 3065 prohibits public funds from being spent in support of (YES) or in opposition to (NO) referenda issues.
If you want the law to clearly state that YOUR tax dollars can not be spent on government signs, mailouts, and newspaper or radio advertisements telling YOU how to vote in a sales tax or liquor-by-the-drink or any other referendum, contact these six representatives and let them know.
firstname.lastname@example.org 615-741-6871 Fax 615-253-0225
email@example.com 615-741-1450 Fax 615-253-0262
firstname.lastname@example.org 615-741-2860 Fax 615-253-0283
email@example.com 615-741-4317 Fax 615-253-0360
firstname.lastname@example.org 615-741-2031 Fax N/A
email@example.com 615-741-7799 Fax 615-253-0252
When there is a referendum, we all know that the "official" position is to get more tax dollars and more revenue so the "officials" can spend every penny and more. The question is whether "officials" should be allowed to raid the public treasury to advertise and promote the "official" position.
Officials--like other citizens--are free to spend their own money promoting a referendum issue. Wonder how much money would be spent by officials on VOTE YES signs and letters if they were spending their own personal funds instead of raiding the public treasury? Spending other people's money---lots of it---is soooooo easy.
Click here and here for a local example. And what happened after the City of Morristown used thousands of taxpayer dollars in two different referenda and finally convinced taxpayers to VOTE YES on a sales tax hike? Well, the City still couldn't pay its bills and still continued to illegally pull money out of the sewer fund to provide financial cover for general fund bills, debt, and payroll. Yep, the illegal transfers/ switcheroos occurred before and after passage of the sales tax. Click here and here and here. More revenue doesn't make spending problems and mismanagement go away. Sometimes it just makes it easier to avoid or postpone taking care of the real problem.