Public Hearing Set For Chattanooga Property Tax Increase

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A certified tax rate public hearing will take place on September 28th in the Chattanooga City Council Assembly Room from 3:00-5:00 PM EDT for in-person speakers followed by a session for Zoom only speakers from 6:00-8:00PM EDT.

Chattanooga, Tennessee At Night

Any person may join the hearing via Zoom at council.chattanooga.gov.

Zoom users wishing to address the Council at the 3:00 p.m. portion of the hearing must register in advance using the form located HERE. For convenience, please use the words “Tax Rate Hearing” as your topic when registering. 

During the Chattanooga City Council meeting last week, District 6 Councilwoman Carol Berz explained the need to defer the budget items on the agenda so that a public hearing could be held regarding the city’s intent to exceed the certified tax rate through the FY22 budget. 

Berz stated that the public hearing for Tuesday, September 28, 2021 would be conducted to ensure Tennessee Code compliance and that notices would be placed in local newspapers regarding the hearing.

The council had previously approved a 40-cent property tax increase above the new Certified Tax Rate with a 9-0 vote that would bring in $30 million in additional income that mainly would go toward pay increases for city employees, including fire and police and public works.

The certified tax rate as defined by T.C.A. §67-5-1701 is $1.8529 per $100 of assessed valuation. The City’s proposed FY2022 budget, as adopted, will require a proposed tax levy of $2.25 per $100 of assessed valuation.

All FY22 budget ordinances and resolutions were deferred until after the completion of the hearings.

When the mayor’s budget was first announced to the public, the Tennessee Conservative reached out to the Mayor’s office specifically questioning whether reaching the Mayor’s 2021-22 budgetary goals will require a tax increase for Chattanooga citizens.

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The following is the statement we received from Director of Communications, Mary Beth Ikard:  

“The city is decreasing the property tax rate to one of the lowest rates in 50 years, or $2.25 per $100 of assessed value. This represents a 2.7 cent decrease from the current rate. Because of the increase in Chattanoogans’ property values across the city, the city will be able to capture a portion of that increase in property value. That increase in the city’s portion of property taxes will equal about $30 million for this next Fiscal Year, or an increase of 19.59% in revenue. But again, the actual tax rate is decreasing.  

Residents whose property values increased over the last four years will pay less as a proportion of their property value, though the total will be slightly higher. Residents whose property value stayed the same or dropped will both pay less as a proportion of their home value, and less in terms of actual dollars.” 

The Mayor’s office claimed that this along with trimming unnecessary spending and making budgetary cuts in practically every department will cover the 2021-22 budgetary goals. 

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About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

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