CLINTON—The property tax rate will remain unchanged in Anderson County in the fiscal year that begins July 1, officials said.
Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank and the Budget Committee had both presented a no-tax-increase budget, and on Monday, the Anderson County Commission set the property tax rate for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
The tax rates for the new fiscal year will stay the same as the rates for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. Property owners within the city of Clinton will pay $2.50 per $100 of assessed value on their property, Oak Ridge property owners will see a tax rate of $2.347 per $100, and property owners in Lake City, Oliver Springs, Norris and unincorporated areas of Anderson County will pay $2.529 per $100 of assessed value.
While Anderson County Commission voted to approve the tax rate resolution, the legislative body has not yet approved an operating budget for the new fiscal year, the Anderson County Mayor’s Office said in a press release.
However, commissioners did refer consideration of the proposed budget to a special-called meeting set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15, in Room 312 at the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton.
The press release said the mayor’s proposed budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year does not include a property tax rate increase, and some county government departments submitted proposed budgets lower than their current operating budgets.
“We reduced the Pre-Trial Release budget by $17,249,” Frank said, “and other departments, such as the County Clerk and the Trustee’s office, turned in budgets below their last year’s budget.”
There were very few increases in the budget, and those are related to mandates or contractual requirements, the release said.
Frank told Commission during her budget presentation that the budget is one of “no major changes—but a budget that provides the people of Anderson County with the ability to keep more of what they earn and helps the people of Anderson County maintain stability in their own personal budgeting while we as a county maintain our services.”
Some of the highlights include a medical insurance increase that is budgeted for a half-percent increase. County employees will not have to pay for any increases. General Fund employees who receive or participate in the county health plan will see their rates stay the same—with no increase in their out-of-pocket contribution—in other words, no premium increase, the release said. Following the renewal process, employees will receive see a reduced copay on generic drugs from $10 down to $5. The proposal, as submitted to County Commission, does not include pay raises for county employees.
The only major increase was in Workman’s Compensation rates, projected at a 3.5-percent increase, the release said.
“While the final appropriation is still to be approved, major progress was made by setting the tax rate at the current year’s levels,” Frank said in the release. “Our next big challenge, looking ahead, is going to be maintaining funding for our schools. As we heard from county school officials during our budget meetings and public hearing, the schools really struggled to balance their budget this year. We’ve got a lot of work ahead in the coming year.”
Anderson County’s proposed budget—including the county schools’ proposed budget, the county General Fund, the Highway Department fund, the Solid Waste fund, and the Library fund—for the new fiscal year totals $108,188,533.