The Town of Gibson is making a name for itself throughout the state. When nearly 79% of your city’s revenue comes from speeding tickets, something is wrong. Gibson, Tennessee collected $497,878 in General Fund revenue in 2010-2011. Of that, 78.8% was collected by the police department — speeding tickets and court costs prop up the budget of Gibson, Tennessee.
No Sales Tax – What Do You Expect?
Local sales tax for Gibson in October 2012 (most recently reported) is $4,742.82. That’s abysmally low. What do you expect, though? I avoid driving through Gibson, most people I know do! Why in the world would you open any retail, tax collecting business in Gibson? Your customers will leave angry because they pulled over in a speed trap!
Property Taxes – How Other Cities Support Themselves
The purpose of any incorporated city or town is to provide structure and services for the people who live within it. The people who live in these cities or towns must pay for these services, and they do — through both local sales taxes, and more importantly property taxes. Property taxes collected in a city benefit the people who live in that city. Not so in Gibson — there, residents have one of the lowest property tax rates of any city in Gibson County (second only to Yorkville).
How do they make ends meet? They charge the people passing through. How is that fair?
In coming weeks, I’ll probably address a couple of other things:
- What the Police in Gibson actually cost – are they worth it? A cost / benefit analysis.
- How financial mismanagement and potential corruption can create a black hole into which cities can throw money.
- What percentage of revenue in other cities comes from fines and court fees?
- What are the court costs in Gibson and how other cities calculate court costs.
What do you think I should cover first?