During our May 13 and May 28 meetings, the Oak Ridge City Council will determine your property tax rate for the next year via our annual budget. Our decision will directly affect your personal finances. Of greater consequence, however, we will establish our city’s competitive position.
Currently, Oak Ridge has the third-highest property tax rate in East Tennessee at $2.39 when you add in the Anderson County rate of $2.35. Each penny of our rate equals approximately $90,000 of spending. We have a tremendous opportunity to make Oak Ridge more competitive and attractive to prospective residents and businesses without sacrificing our quality of life.
In addition to increasing our revenues (I’ve suggested converting select city-owned assets into taxable properties, eliminating tax abatements, and negotiating voluntary payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements), we must ensure the highest and best use of each and every penny you entrust to us.
During our deliberations, I will make the following motions to immediately reduce our tax rate and/or improve our marketability to outsiders: [Read more...]