Slow Gov’t Services an Extra Burden on Taxpayers: Haslam

Whether it’s inefficient state workers or lagging technology at driver’s license centers, the public essentially pays an additional “tax” any time government services are slow, Gov. Bill Haslam said this week.

“I think there’s two kinds of taxes. There’s a tax that people pay, sales tax, income tax or whatever tax you’re paying. And then there’s the tax that you pay when you don’t get full value for government service,” he told the Tennessee Digital Government Summit in Nashville Tuesday.

“When we don’t give you full value, that’s another tax. We just don’t call it that,” he said.

The governor didn’t wager a guess as to how much the public is paying in that tax each year when speaking to the information-technology experts. But he announced that the state is now trying to reduce the cost with technology upgrades at driver service centers.

“I think there’s some what I would call just basic customer service issues about how committed we are to making certain that customer gets in and out quick,” he told reporters after speaking to the summit. The Department of Safety is also tackling changes to how driver’s license centers manage information and working to put the “right number of employees in the right places,” he said.

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  • vaudtgirl

    I think this administration came into power believing that all state workers are lazy and inefficient. It’s easy to criticize from afar. I was in the DL center in Putnam County one day from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM – the office had NINE service windows but only THREE employees on duty. I felt sorry for the workers. They were doing the best they could with rude people who wanted instant service. It was so obvious that the place was understaffed. We want to pay fewer and fewer taxes, but we don’t like the consequences. We want to blame somebody else.