Name Brian Paul Beathard
District 11
Current Occupation & Employer Business Owner
Political Experience 2 Term County Commissioner
Education BA - Baylor Univ.
Civic/Religious Organizations You Belong To Hope Church, Downtown Rotary, Heritage Foundation, Downtown Neighborhood Assoc.
How Long Have You Lived In Williamson Co.? 14 Yrs
Military Service N/A
Email Address brianbeathard@outlook.com
Phone Number 615-752-8628
Thank you for volunteering to serve your community, what motivated you to seek this position? Originally, I was asked by friends and neighbors to run for the empty seat left when Miss Mary Mills retired from the Commission. I wanted to focus on the same things then that I am focused on now: Great Schools, Low Taxes, High Property Values. With two young children in our public schools, I wanted to ensure the values that caused us to move here would remain intact.
On your first day in office, what will be the top item on your agenda? Education
Have you attended County Commission meetings or work sessions, researched the duties and responsibilities of a County Commissioner, and talked to other elected officials about what your role and time commitments would be as a Commissioner? Incumbents: How do you communicate with your constituents and when are you available to meet? I am an incumbent. I communicate by remaining active in the community, maintaining a facebook page, and keeping my home phone number on the county website.
The County Commission is responsible for approving the budget and funding our schools, roads, and infrastructure with property taxes collected. On the other hand, cities fuel growth by approving zoning requests and building permits for commercial and residential construction. What would you do to encourage a shared fiscal responsibility with local municipalities? Additionally, in your mind, who should pay for growth and how? I championed the Education Impact Fee because I felt that an unfair burden was being placed on longtime residents who were being forced to endure tax increases to cover growth. In my next term, I plan to focus on controlled growth; and I plan to fight to give the county some control over growth outside the UGB.
Our current property taxes if left unchecked are estimated to double - perhaps triple - in just a few years. The tax burden is on current residents many of whom are looking forward to retirement, living on fixed incomes, or raising families. Would you support legislation to foster sharing the cost of growth with the business sector as many high growth States have done? Would you support researching alternative funding sources such as making commercial or business rental leases subject to sales tax? What other cost containment measures would you recommend? I support researching any and all alternatives. I also champion the Williamson County freeze on taxes for seniors and retired residents.
In 2016-2017, $44,000,000.00 or 21% of our property tax dollars were allocated to pay the interest on our debt. While interest rates are currently low, if we continue to fund growth by borrowing, we take on significant fiscal risk as bonds interest rates rise. What funding ideas to you have other than purchasing 20 year bonds? See answer above. Also, Williamson County is often featured in magazines and news articles for having some of the best schools in the Country. Occasionally, we are featured as one of the lowest tax counties in the Country as well. But I have yet to see these two stories combined. We are the best county in the entire U.S. if you want to "have your cake and eat it too." No other county in the U.S. with schools that rank in the top 10-20 and simultaneously ranked amongst the counties with the lowest taxes. It is important to understand that we didn't get here by accident. It takes diligent work by smart people who care deeply. I am proud to count myself amongst that group.
In an effort to promote accountability and transparency local municipalities in other states have put their checkbook register on line for citizens to see how their tax dollars are spent. What recommendations would you make to increase transparency and accountability to the electorate? I support that idea. I also wish more residents would be involved through attendance of our meetings and committee meetings - all of which are open to the public. Tennessee is one of only a few states that has the "Sunshine Law". Everything we discuss as Commissioners is on public record.
What cost containment measures can you suggest to save tax dollars? Controlling growth is the #1 thing we can do right now to control the need for more tax dollars.
Schools funding including interest payments on money borrowed to build new schools is close to 80% of the total County budget. Commissioners vote either to accept or reject the budget as presented, they have no control over how the money is spent. If the budget is rejected, they must negotiate with the Director of Public schools until they reach a resolution. Would you support a resolution to change current law to allow line item veto power to the County Commission when approving the School Budget? No