County Commission Keeps Same Tax Rate Rather Than Going To Slightly Higher "Certified Tax Rate"

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

County Commission members on Wednesday morning balked at moving to a slightly higher "certified tax rate" and instead left the property tax rate at the same $2.7652 per $100 of assessed valuation.

The commissioners unanimously rejected a prepared resolution that would have upped the rate to $2.7721 per $100 of assessed valuation.

Finance Director Louis Wright said the move means about $235,000 less for county government and $235,000 less for the county schools than had been projected.

Commissioners Joe Graham and Tim Boyd berated the county administration for not following the usual process of having a "continuation budget" until the figures are all in. They said the administration should not have assumed that the commission would be moving to the certified figure.

 Commissioner Graham said the commissioners earlier had to vote without having the full budget documents.

Mr. Wright said the money to cover the $235,000 in budget items would be from the fund balance.

However, Commissioner Graham said there was another option - to cut some of the items that had already been approved.

County Mayor Jim Coppinger was absent. Mike Compton, chief of staff, said they would confer and have a later recommendation.

Commissioner Fred Skillern said he was not in favor of pulling any more money out of the fund balance (rainy day fund).

Assessor Bill Bennett said it was the first time in his long history with the county that overall property values were down slightly. He said usually in the past the commission had to lower the "certified tax rate" 40-50 cents in order not to get a windfall from the reappraisal.

Commissioner Skillern said there was still about $2.5 million in "growth money" for the county. He said by the commission's action, that was cut to about $2 million.

The city of Chattanooga did the same thing - keeping the same tax rate and foregoing the post-reappraisal higher recommended certified tax rate. 


Cook Arrested For Aggressive Panhandling On Gunbarrel Road

Chattanooga Police have charged Anthony Lebron Cook with aggressive panhandling on Gunbarrel Road. Cook, 51, is also charged with public intoxication. An officer said he responded to Panda Express on a panhandling call. Employees said they had asked Cook to leave multiple times, but he refused. They said he kept asking for money for food. When the officer arrived, Cook ... (click for more)

Haslam Proposes $30 Million For School Safety

Governor Bill Haslam Tuesday proposed $30 million to improve school safety across the state in the amendment to the fiscal year 2018-19 budget proposal to be considered by the General Assembly in the coming weeks. The funding includes $25 million in nonrecurring and $5.2 million in recurring school safety grants. Earlier this month, the governor appointed a School Safety Working ... (click for more)

The Panhandling "Tax" On Gunbarrel

I’ve been reading about the panhandling problem in downtown; it is a huge problem in the Gunbarrel area, too.  It’s commonplace to be accosted by panhandlers when walking from your parked car into a commercial establishment.  And often they are aggressive.  I look carefully around my car before getting out, but sometimes someone will be lurking in between cars and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Meme From The Meanies

Hardly a day goes past that I don’t receive several strings of memes in my incoming emails and yesterday there was one particular collection that gave me pause for thought. First, here’s the definition of a meme: “An Internet meme (/mi?m/ MEEM) is an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person via ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Wins Wildcat Classic Again

Early season prep baseball tournaments are meant for a few things; primarily competition, repetition, and learning a few things about your team over the course of a few games.   The Ooltewah Owl baseball nine apparently has learned it likes collecting championship trophies in them as well.   For the second year in a row, the Owls won the longstanding ... (click for more)

Lady Vols Fall To Oregon State, 66-59, In 2nd Round Of NCAA's

KNOXVILLE-- Senior center Mercedes Russell logged her 46th career double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead Tennessee, but it wasn't enough as the No. 12/13 Lady Vols (25-8) fell to No. 13/12 Oregon State (25-7) in the second round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Freshman Anastasia Hayes also had a double-digit outing for the No. 3 seed Lady Vols, posting ... (click for more)