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Halls Lowes TIF Info

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Well, it seems as though the new Lowes development is proceeding forward. There is a "use on review" sign at the corner of Quarry Road and Maynardville Highway. It seems that Graham is getting the zoning approved for the revised shopping center.
Looks like we will soon see some activity on site, and all without a TIF!
Of course, Graham has proposed doing this project in three phases. The second phase has the new road to Emory through the site, that will be when he asks for a handout.

Click here to see the newest Lowes project plans

When does your political opinion cross the line?


      Lately I have been wondering something. When does your political opinion cross the line, and who dictates what that line is? It seems that sometimes that line can be drawn by the business you are in, and by other businesses that utilize your services.


      When is it proper for a business to think they have enough control over the business you work for to force your opinion to be silenced? When is it proper for a business to use the threat of not utilizing your services if your opinion is not silenced? And, when is it proper for a business to force your opinion to be silenced, when that opinion does not have anything to do with their business, but your opinion is about someone that they support and have previous associations with?


       Now, we as American citizens have the right to “free speech”. But, sometimes we forget the consequences of that free speech. We can blog along all day long about our local corrupt politicians, but what happens when having our voice taken away from us challenges us? Taken away by intimidation tactics that hit the business that you work for, the very business that gives you your financial security, the very business that has become your career, and not merely a job. It is hard to continue expressing your opinion when your boss tells you that your opinion may be costing the company money. Now, some people that are active in our local political opinion arenas would say fight for your right to have your voice heard. But, they are not risking their finances or their career, now are they? That is why sometimes the choice to become silent is necessary.


       It is a shame that our local politics have become what we currently have. Part of the blame falls on the voting citizens of Knox County, and part of it falls on the corrupt activities of our elected officials. But, we can rely on the fact that very soon we will be able to make changes to our government at the voting machine. I just hope we start to look past party lines and faction groups, and actually vote for the best person for the job. If that could actually happen we might be able to run our government in the manner it was meant, and not by the downhill slide that it is currently on.


I will return soon,

Alan Summers

The IDB held a TIF Workshop on Monday, September the 29th. They had an excellent speaker give a presentation about Tax Increment Financing. They also presented the new revised TIF Policy that they have put so much work into improving.

Click here to download pdf file of the revised TIF Policy

On 9-9-08, the IDB met to discuss revisions to the TIF Policy. They adopted a revised policy to be able to hand out at the upcoming Commission workshop at the end of this month.
The meeting was very interesting in a few ways.
    I still can clearly see that the members of the IDB are taking the TIF issue very seriously. Out of the new board members Clem Renfroe has really gotten in and started working, the other ones are still learning.
    They had lots of revisions, along with my proposals, to discuss. Out of my proposals they crafted a provision where the developer has to get "consent" from a property owner outside of his property before it can be included in a plan area. So, I had some success for my work.
    A lot of the changes were administrative, and they decided to not define the term "blighted". They still asserted that they can change this at any time, but
they didn't want to lock in a definition right now.
    Now to the most interesting part...Tim Graham and Victor Jernigan was in attendance at yesterdays meeting. When Mr. Graham spoke and gave opinion
I could see so many of the board members look of disdain on their faces. And when Jernigan spoke the same thing happened, and he got cut off during his discussion. They were not going to have any debating, and especially any arguing about their changes to the policy.
    One last thing, a member of Knox County Codes office was there. He was there to inform the board that Knox County now has a Blighted Properties
Ordinance. And in the last two weeks they have deemed the old Ingles site on Clinton Highway, and the old Black Oak Motel site in Halls as Blighted. 

Click here to view Blighted Ordinance Info

This site if for any information regarding the Halls Lowes project, and the Tax Increment Financing that some developers want to obtain from Knox County citizens.
I do not own any property in the TIF Area proposed by Mr. Graham. This was mentioned in a Shopper News article which I have linked on this site, and that was not a true statement made by the author of the article.
I want to provide a little bit of information about myself. I am an 8th district resident, 1985 graduate of Halls High School, and an almost 30 year member of Beaver Dam Baptist Church. I am not anti-commercial development, but I believe in “smart” commercial development. I have become an involved citizen in our local politics, and follow issues that affect the residents of Knox County.


Thank you, Alan Summers

In the article below you will find a list of over 250 citizens that are in Mr. Graham's TIF Area. Read On!

Anybody out there know what a TIF is?


     You may have noticed a few articles in the local papers about what people are calling TIFs. In those articles I looked for a common language explanation, and did not find one. So, as I researched the subject over the past few months I found out that many did not have any idea what it really is, or how it works. In talking to many people about it, reading many articles about it, and following a few local TIF Applications in the works I found many interesting facts about the Lowes development in Halls, this led me to my current involvement with TIF’s.


     If you are reading this you may be 1 of over 250 residential or agricultural zoned property owners included in a potential TIF Area. This area was created by the developer of the proposed Lowes shopping center at the corner of Quarry Road and Maynardville Highway. The developer is requesting a 5 million dollar, 15-year TIF for the development.


     Did that get your attention?


     You now may be asking, what is a TIF?


     A TIF is "Tax Increment Financing". Basically a developer uses the increase of the property taxes from the development and the TIF Area properties for a set amount of years to pay for the amount of a loan or bond that the developer obtains. The developer creates a TIF Area around his development that includes citizens and/or commercial property. Property re-assessments are scheduled every 4 years, the next scheduled property tax re-assessment is in 2009. So if your property is in the TIF Area and your property taxes increase at the re-assessment time, that increase will go to the developer to be used to pay off the loan or bond.


     The Industrial Development Board of Knox County (IDB) oversees the TIFs. They require that a developer submit an application, and then the IDB goes before Knox County Commission and asks permission to allow the developer to prepare an economic impact plan. After the economic impact plan is done there is a public hearing scheduled and it is voted on by the full IDB, if it is approved it goes back to the commission for a final approval or disapproval vote. The only required public notification is by a listing in the Public Notices section of the local newspaper, and that would not include any property owner names.


     The TIF Application for the Lowes/Graham project was denied at the March 25th IDB Application Review Committee meeting. At the upcoming April 14th IDB meeting a request by Mr. Graham to postpone final voting until the August 12th IDB meeting was allowed, the August 12th meeting will then be the public hearing portion of the TIF Application process. Of course, how many of you knew about these meetings, or even that your property was included in the TIF Area? Or, at the least what a TIF is, and how your property taxes would be used?


     This is intended to inform you that as a property owner you had the right to voice an appeal to having your property included in the TIF Area. This appeal would have been included in the documents that were reviewed by the IDB review committee, and possibly the County Commission to make their final decision. However, your appeal will not be heard since adequate notification was never given to any property owners of the public hearings.


      The main goal of this is to inform the citizens that they are included in the TIF Area. In my opinion the process of notifying the citizens that they are involved in a TIF is non-existent. The IDB has expressed concern about citizen’s properties being included in a TIF Area, that concern as well as others led to the denial on first vote at the March meeting. If the IDB revises it’s policies such that no property outside the development’s boundaries can be included in the TIF Area, that will be a great accomplishment for property owner’s rights. I intend to follow the revisions that the IDB makes to their policy to make sure that citizens have more rights.


The following is a list of over 250 property owners included in the Lowes/Graham TIF Application as submitted. (there may be revisions made before the August meeting):


Alot, John

Albright, Bobby

Appling, Jack

Arnwine, Mark

Arp, Christopher

Ashton, Richard

Ashton, Richard

Ausmus, Judy

Baker, Westley

Bayless, Carol

Bayless, Clarence

Bayne, Rockey

Beason, Daniel

Beavers, Stephanie

Bell, Alexander

Bell, Terry

Benjamin, Barrett

Bich Hang Thi Duong

Boden, Raymond

Brinias, Jimmy

Bryant, Timothy

Buckner, Paul

Bunch, Dennis

Bunch, William

Burnette, Dennis

Burton, Sue

Campbell, Gregory

Cantrell, Alex

Cantrell, Melvin

Cantrell, Scott

Cardwell, Neal (Life Estate)

Carter, Jimmy

Carter, Johnny

Cate, Wanda

Chambers, James

Chambers, Marvin

Christ United Methodist    

Clevenger, Ronald

Collier, Elbert

Collins, Carol

Collins, Lisa

Commercial Bank

Conner, Steve

Cooper, Neil

Coppock, Laverne

Cox, Daniel

Cox, Jewel

Cox, Victor

Crippen, Barbara

Crippen, Basil (Life Estate)

Crippen, Don

Crippen, Marshall

Cunningham, Ron

Cupp, Doyle

Cutting, Douglas

Dalton, Connie

Dalton, Elaine

Daniels, Buddy

Darden, Michael

Davidson, Lisa

Davis, J.P.

Decker, Wayne

Decorsey, Stan

Demarcus, Robert

Derosa, Jason

Dishner, Jack

Dobbs, Kermit

Drummonds, Odra

Edwards, Wallace

Edwards, Wallace
Edwards, Joyce

Elkins, James

Elkins, Marie

Etters, Brian

Farmer, David

Fleming, Christina

Foster, Paula

Garner, James

George, Phyllis

Gombos, James

Gorman, Steven

Graham, Danny

Graham, Grant

Greenlee, James

Guyton, Noble

Haas, Thomas

Hall, Lloyd

Hansard, L.T.

Hansard, Luther

Hansard, William

Harrell, Carol Sue

Henegar, David

Hennon, Kenneth

Herrill, Hollis

Hibben, Gary

Hickman, Kimberly

Hickman, Scott

Hill, Donald

Hill, Roger

Hinckley, Derek

Hinckley, Derek

Hinson, Joseph

Hinton, Randy

Hitchens, Walter

Hodge, Buford

Hoffman, Steven

Hosack, Raymond

Houk, Bill

Howard, Ebbie Ruth

Howard, Jack

Howard, Terry

Howerton, Gene

Hugo, Joshua

Humphries, Rocky

Hutcheson, Earl

Irick, Clifford

Johnson, Doyle

Johnson, Jere

Johnson, Kenneth

Joyner, Ernest

Julian, Ella

Karnes, Clifford

Keck, Candace

Kegley, William

Kennedy, Ronald

Kidwell, Barbara

Kirby, Roy

Kiser, Ray

Kneier, John

Koontz, Larry

Koren, James

Lamb, Leonard

Lamb, Leonard

Lamb, Steven

Lawson, Gene

Lawson, Glenn

Lay, Dwane

Lay, Dwayne

Leigh, Robert

Lester, Paul

Liford, Brenda

Lindsay, Teresa

Lindsey, Cline

Machado, Carlos

Martin, Wanza

Massey, Mark

Maxwell, Phillip

McCroskey, Steve

Mcginnis, David

McMahan, Stephen

Meyers, Velva (Life Estate)

Miller, Donnie

Miller, Terry

Mitchell, John

Moore, Ernest

Morrell, Glen

Moyers, Samuel

Moyers, Tammy

Mullins, Johnny

Murray, Gary

Myers, John

Mynatt, Chris

Mynatt, Emerson

Mynatt, Harold

Mynatt, Jeffrey

Mynatt, Robert

Neely, Betty

Neely, Chris

Noe, Thomas

Nussbaumer, Rosa

Oakes, Ardis

Ogle, June

Olson, Edna

Osborne, Jason

Parris, Robin

Parrott, Edward

Peebles, Wendell

Phillips Real Estate Inc.

Preston, John

Raley, Fred

Raley, Lowell (Life Estate)

Raley, Lowell (Life Estate)

Raley, Rodney

Ray, Charles

Reeves, Doris

Richardson, John

Ridner, Minerva

Robertson, Allen

Robertson, Charles

Rodriguez, Benjamin

Rogers, Jesse

Rogers, Jesse

Rolen, David

Roop, Cheri

Rose, Kenneth

Rutherford, Evelyn

Rutherford, Marvin

Rutherford, O.B.

Rutherford, Olen

Sanders, Dewayne

Sanders, William

Seay, Nicholas

Sexton, Rex

Shane, Christopher

Sharp, Jeffrey

Sharp, Michael

Sharp, Wess

Shubin, Van

Shutt, Robert

Smith, Alleene (Life Estate)

Smith, Delores

Smith, Gordon

Smith, James

Stair, Conrad

Stout, Ronald

Sullivan, Gary

Summey, Clarence

Sweat, Frank

Sweat, Ralph

Sweet, John

Taylor, Martha

Taylor, Richard

Tecklo LLC

Temple, Robert

Temple, Robert

Tillet, Beth

Tourville, Steven

Treece, Arnold E.

Treece, Bobby

Trent, Lucian

Trent, Lucian

Turner, Mark

Vandagriff, William

Varner, David

Vaught, Leon

Vineyard, Rhonda

Waller, Hubert

Ward, Brandon

Watson, Iretis

Whited, Vince

Wilgar, Gail

Wilkerson, William

Williams, Bill

Williams, David

Williams, Tim

Wilson, Wayne

Witt, Harold

Wolfe, Hugh

Womac, Christopher

Woods, Betty Lou

Wright, Joe



Here is what you can do if you would like to express your opinion (for or against) about property taxes being used in this manner…


Please contact the County Commissioners for the 7th district. You will find their contact info below:


Larry Smith

Knox County Commission

Suite 603, City County Building

Knoxville, TN 37902


688-0323 (home)

922-5433 (business office)


Scott Moore

Knox County Commission

Suite 603, City County Building

Knoxville, TN 37902


922-7926 (home)

215-2534 (commission office)



You can also contact the Development Corporation of Knox County. You will find their contact info below:


The Development Corporation of Knox County
17 Market Square, #201
Knoxville, TN  37902


     If you see your name you can email me and I can send specific information on the properties included in the TIF Area. Some of the names on the list have more than one parcel of property in the TIF Area.


     Please take time to let your voice be heard, if you do not, who will voice it?


    Thank you, Alan Summers





I have recently sent new proposed TIF Policy changes to the IDB! (8-14-08)

Click here to see my letter to the IDB.



This was recently presented to the IDB, with great success.


To all Industrial Development Board members,


     I want to thank you for all the work that you do. It must be tiring vetting the requests of developers, and overseeing development in Knox County.

     I am presenting to you two proposed revisions to the Tax Increment Financing Policy. You, as a board, set this policy and have the right, and the responsibility, to make changes to it when needed. And I believe as a resident of Knox County I have the right to submit changes to local government policies, and to request that these changes be considered and studied for their merit.


     The bold print below is my recommendations for additions to the two following sections of the TIF Policy…


3.3. Economic Impact Plan

a list of tax parcels composing the plan area, including owners and parcel numbers, from which the incremental tax revenues will be generated. Written notice is to be given, and signed permission is to be collected from all property owners in the plan area by the applicant.


3.5. Notice and Hearing of IDB. After the Application Review Committee and the Board’s staff and counsel determine the economic impact plan to be complete, the Board will hold a public hearing related to the proposed plan at a regular or special meeting.  Notice of the public hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in Knox County at least two weeks prior to the date of the public hearing, as required by Section 7-53-312(g) of the Act.  Written notice is to be sent to all property owners in the proposed plan area by the applicant, this notice would inform them personally of the public hearing. If the IDB determines that the economic impact plan substantially complies with the Act, it will submit the economic impact plan to Knox County Commission and/or Knoxville City Council for consideration and approval.  The submission shall include a summary of any comments from the public hearing on the proposed plan.


      I feel that as a board that oversees how county property taxes are used, you have a huge responsibility to the citizens that pay those taxes, the taxes that provide the grant money for the IDB to continue to function. And I believe that changes are needed to the policy to protect the citizens of Knox County. In this year of our local, and state budget crisis we all need to be prudent with our tax money, and how it is used. Future impact to our property tax base needs to be considered very carefully at every TIF Application submitted; especially the non-conforming TIF Applications that are beginning to come before you.


      My main goal is to make sure the citizens are informed when any portion of their property is being used for purposes other than normal.


Thank you for your time,

Alan Summers

Click here to download "OUST RAGSDALE" image file

Look here for an article from the Tennessee Advisory Commission of Intergovernmental Affairs discussing TIF's in Tennessee.

IN THE NEWS! Look here for an article in a current issue of the Shopper News. Look on page B-2.

IDB's hold on TIFs infuriates local developer. Click here for article.

At the present time, all activity concerning Tax Increment Financing handled by the IDB is on hold until December 1, 2008. (KCDC can still bring TIF's to commission for approval).
This puts any current TIF applications on hold until that time.
The IDB will take this time to school the new IDB Board members, and the new incoming County Commissioners all about TIF's.
This "hold time" will also be used to make some much needed revisions and improvements to our TIF Policy.
You can read the current TIF Policy here...

"Blighted" term needs clarification
The IDB needs to revise the definition of "blighted", and stiffen the requirements for what projects qualify for a TIF.
Here is the paragraph from the TIF Policy that explains what qualifies...
The TIF Program is primarily for economic development projects that provide improvements to public infrastructure in blighted and under-utilized areas of Knox County and in other properties designated by Knox County Commission and City Council.  Members of Knox County Commission and City Council, as qualified elected representatives, are the ones not only vested with the final authority to approve TIF transactions and districts, but also are in the best position to determine the relative priorities of the proposed infrastructure improvements and the related community benefits from a public policy standpoint.  The Board will administer and implement the TIF Program and its policies and procedures.
The blighted term, and especially the under-utilized part needs clarification, and stronger language.

Click here to view Mr. Graham's TIF presentation to the Industrial Development Board.

Click here to read an article about Mr. Graham's South Grove development. The following articles will explain why the IDB is currently not Graham friendly.

South Grove article number two.

South Grove article number three.

South Grove article number four.

South Grove article number 5, even Sam Venable wrote about it!

I can be contacted at the following email address.