Letter: Tax-paying business owner glad to have chance to vote

Feb. 12, 2013 @ 12:12 AM

Editor:

I have been reading about the voting rights of the residents of Pigeon Forge versus the rights of businesses property owners. I own with my family a business in Pigeon Forge. We have been in business for 28 years.

All this time we were unable to exercise our rights to vote in the local Pigeon Forge elections. The election commission informed me that a business corporation could not vote. At that time I was disappointed, but figured that was that. Now, thanks to the controversy about this matter, I find that two owners of the deeded property can indeed vote.

I’m not going to list the amount of dollars my business has paid over the last 28 years. However, I will tell you that we have collected and paid to the state over $91,000 in sales tax for the 2012 year. We have collected and paid to the city of Pigeon Forge over $9,400 for the Grosse Receipt Tax for the 2012 year. We have paid over $800 in property taxes to the city of Pigeon Forge. I call that taxation without representation.

I have also read with great interest the opinions of a Pigeon Forge commissioner and a resident who feels that it is morally wrong for me to be able to vote for officials who will be in charge of forging ahead in the interests of the city, residents and businesses. Now, really. Seriously? I do want to remind you that our country went to war with Great Britain because of the taxation without representation.

I am thrilled that now I will be able to exercise my right to vote in the next election. So, thanks for the heads-up and all the controversy. I am indeed a registered voter and plan to be watchful and diligent regarding these issues, particularly those pertaining to the “opinions” of others that may affect all business owners.

Pat Marks

Country Barn Gift Shop

Pigeon Forge