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Fentress County Commission Sets New Property Tax Rate at $1.35

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Fentress County Commission Sets New Property Tax Rate at $1.35

Fentress County Commission set a new property tax rate, raising the state certified rate from $1.23 to $1.35.

The commission room was packed Monday night in anticipation of the property tax rate discussion.

With rising rates in this appraisal year, almost a dozen residents shared their desire to hold at the state rate.  Kim Rocha said she had concerns with the county raising the certified tax rate.

“The tax number that we’re sending in is more,” Rocha said. “It might be only like the guy said $130. But if you have several pieces of property or if your home has more than doubled, you’re going to be paying more money. People can’t afford that.”

Commissioners attempted to pass a rate of $1.37 and $1.36. Both motions failed. Commissioners then motioned to move the tax rate to the agenda for a meeting on July 24. That motion also failed in voting.

Finance Director Tyler Arms explained that in order to balance the budget it would require an additional 12 cents in property tax. Commissioner Larry Cooper brought Arms’ explanation up later in the meeting.

“Do we want to try to go into fund balance by a couple hundred thousand dollars and hope for the best, and only go up seven or eight cents,” Cooper said. “Or do we want to balance the budget, which is our job to balance the budget.”

Rocha said the property tax should be left at the “state regulated” amount. She said the commission should wait and maybe raise it next year if needed.

“If we need to we increase it a couple of pennies,” Rocha said. “Not 15 or 20 cents. That’s ridiculous.”

After over an hour and forty minutes of discussion among commissioners and citizens, the motioned to set the rate at $1.35 passed.

In other news, the commission passed the first motion to create an additional $10 wheel tax. The tax would be in addition to the current $25 wheel tax which goes directly to the school fund.

The wheel tax must pass another reading in order to take effect.  If the wheel tax passes in second reading, the citizens may elect to create a petition signed by a number of registered voters equal to 10 percent of the number of voters in the last gubernatorial election and file with the county election commission within 30 days of passage to force the the tax to referendum. T.C.A. § 5-8-102(c).



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