A Lumpy Outlook on Local Economy

How’s business? Not so hot, if you listen to County Commissioner Greg “Lumpy” Lambert. (And really, who can resist listening to Lumpy?) During a budget update by schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre at Monday’s Commission meeting, Lumpy revealed the toll the recession is taking on his own operations at Advantage Auto Sales on Clinton Highway. Questioning McIntyre’s projection that sales tax revenues for the current year will be flat compared to last year’s, Lambert said, “I actually collect sales tax, and I can tell you, maybe I’m losing my touch, but I haven’t collected a dime of sales tax all year.” Noting that he’d seen other local car dealerships close “all around me,” he suggested that McIntyre should actually be projecting a drop in sales tax money. McIntyre, already facing a $19 million budget gap and asking Knox County teachers to consider giving up their raises for next year, said he was hopeful that a dip in sales tax money could be made up for by increases in property tax revenues. Still, the exchange left us concerned—if Lumpy’s not selling any cars, who does he have left to give guns to?

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