City Council OKs budget without tax increase

Published 8:40 am Friday, June 18, 2010

FRANKLIN—City Council on Monday approved the fiscal year 2011 budget, which holds the real estate tax rate at 77 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Under the 77-cent rate, the owner of a home assessed at $200,000 can expect to pay $1,540 in property taxes.

The budget was not approved before council members discussed whether or not to give themselves a 2-cent cushion in the tax rate.

The $57.1 million budget was approved with a vote of 5-1. Councilman Barry Cheatham voted against the budget, and Mayor Jim Councill was not at the meeting.

If the budget were approved with a 79-cent rate, it could be reduced to 77 cents later without another public hearing, said City Attorney Taylor Williams.

However, if assessments come in lower than expected, and the 77-cent rate is deemed too low, the city would have to readvertise and hold another public hearing to raise the rate.

Since the real estate assessor doesn’t complete his work until later in the summer, Cheatham and Councilman Benny Burgess said it may be better to pass a rate of 79 cents in the budget and then evaluating and possibly lowering it to 77 cents after all of the assessment data comes in.

“My issue is not with the city manager or the staff, I think they’ve all done a great job,” Cheatham said. “My concern is with the assessor and what kind of job has he done.”

“I want to be perfectly clear,” he said. “I want the 77 cents.”

Vice Mayor Raystine Johnson said readvertising and holding another public hearing, if it’s needed, “is not an impossible feat.”