Note: This story was last updated at 9:55 a.m. June 10.
In the first of two votes this month, the Oak Ridge City Council on Monday rejected a request from school officials for a 37-cent tax rate increase that would, among other things, help fund a technology initiative meant to eventually provide an electronic learning device or tablet to all students.
Council member Charlie Hensley said the tax increase would be the largest in the city’s history, and it came in late in the budget process.
The property tax rate is now $2.39 per $100 of assessed value. The increase would push it to $2.76, and it could cost the owner of a $200,000 home another $15 per month.
“I was looking to support a tax increase, but the one that we got asked for is really, really high,” Hensley said.
There was a two-part vote on the budget on Monday. The first reduced the amount transferred to the schools to roughly $14.6 million, which was about $3.3 million less than the school board had requested, and it kept the tax rate steady for the seventh year in a row. The vote on that amendment was 5-2, with Hensley and Council member Chuck Hope voting no. [Read more...]