Marion County Officials paying their back taxes - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Marion County Officials paying their back taxes

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MARION COUNTY, TN. (WRCB) -- Thursday, Channel 3 followed up on an investigation that has many of you sounding off.

We went through Marion County tax records, after county commissioners raised taxes $0.50. For the average family, that's about $125 more a year.

We wanted to know which government officials hadn't paid their taxes. And found some commissioners, police officers, even judges still owe for 2010. One of them is the Police Chief of Powells Crossroads and now, he wants to set the record straight.

Chief Parker did want to clear a few things up Thursday. One, he's not a county commissioner, although he did run for office. He says he would have voted against the tax raise, and the $138 he owes was simply a human error.

"Hey! I wanna pay my taxes, I'm on channel 3 today," said Chief Parker as we followed him into the county trustee's office to make his payment.

Making that $138 payment will likely not put a dent in the one million dollar plus shortfall Marion County faces, but it's a start.

As Chief Parker says, it's the right thing to do. However, he feels the recent tax raise was not the right move. He says if he was a county commissioner he would not have voted for it.

Parker said, "I'm against it. They've done away with the volunteer fire department and I work close with the fire department. I believe they could have found a better way."

Parker said he was upset he overlooked his back taxes, but was further bothered when he found out Commission Chairman Gene Hargis owed back taxes from 2008, and 2010. Hargis voted in favor of the tax raise.

"I don't go out here and drink and drive, because I enforce the law of drinking and driving. If you're going to take the stand for the people of Marion County and say we're gonna raise taxes, then your taxes better be paid," said Parker.

We did speak with Chairman Gene Hargis Thursday. He said, "I'm just like anyone else, I'm doing the best I can do. Everybody is having a hard time. There's no excuses, and the back taxes will be paid by the end of the week."

There were a total of seven Marion County officials that owed back taxes. Three have paid up, including Parker.

Two of the remaining four said they will pay by the end of the week, that includes Hargis. We haven't heard from the remaining two.

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