Fire-breathing activist Marie Mott has a glimmer in her eye Tuesday as she urges city council to reach toward a shimmering millions of dollars owed to city government.
Particularly, UTC, the state’s University in Chattanooga that has obligations 10 years old reaching in to $10 million or more, she indicated. Also lagging: Hamilton County.
By David Tulis / 92.7 NoogaRadio
The city’s deliberative body seems to have set a record for brevity in the 21-minute gathering.
“I found it quite interesting that we had council members who were not pushing,” said Miss Mott, 30, a talk show host at 92.7 FM radio, “either because they graduated from UTC or they considered those debts illusory, *** that maybe we should not pursue those, that maybe we should forget about those.”
Only one council member pressed Phil Noblett, city attorney, at that meeting about collecting the debt, she says.
Residents who don’t pay taxes are thrown out on their ear, she says, while big players are seen not having to pay. Helen Burns Sharp, who runs the watchdog group Accountability for Taxpayer Money, says the city gave $26 million in breaks in fiscal 2018, Miss Mott says.
“There is so much money the city is not collecting, and this is money that could go toward paving towards roads, or money that go toward programs or things that we really need in Chattanooga.”
“The wicked borrow and do not repay,” she says, citing scripture. “To find out that this has happened over a decade is absolutely mind-blowing.”
Miss Mott seems to have been chastened by interactions among council members and suggests she is not not limited to expressions of outrage at police abuse or a ban on the begging poor. “I am following up,” she says. “I am listening. I am learning. I am studying,” not only for her district “but for those who may not have the time to come down here every week” nor courage to speak up.
➤ Also, city attorney Phil Noblett suggests that this writer and he meet to discuss the issues surrounding the use of city police power in transportation stops. Mr. Noblett’s position is the supreme court holds there is no right to use a car, while my position, built on a study of statutes and outlined in transportation administrative notice, holds that police have no authority to enforce the transportation law on any party not involved in transportation, which is the for-profit use of the road by a carrier, hauling goods or people for hire.