The Oak Ridge City Council will have a second and final meeting on Monday, August 3, to adopt the new property tax rate of $2.52.
The previous tax rate had been $2.39 per $100 of assessed value, so the new rate is 13 cents higher than the old one.
The new tax-neutral rate provided by Tennessee officials went up because overall property assessments went down in Anderson and Roane counties in the five-year reappraisals completed this year. Since property assessments went down in those two counties, the tax-neutral rate went up in the counties and cities within them, including Clinton, Norris, Oliver Springs, and Rocky Top.
Oak Ridge is the only one of those seven governments that, as of now, does not plan to increase its property tax rate beyond the tax-neutral rate. With the help of some last-minute changes, Oak Ridge officials were able to balance the budget in a way that doesn’t require a local increase in the property tax rate. And the budget still proposes 2 percent pay raises for municipal workers and Oak Ridge Schools teachers and staff.
The City Council will meet in a special meeting at 5 p.m. Monday to adopt the tax rate. The meeting is in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom at 200 South Tulane Avenue.
Council approved the tax rate on first reading on Monday, July 27, after approving a budget on second and final reading.
Whether someone pays more in total property taxes under the new tax rate depends upon whether their property assessment decreased, increased, or stayed the same. Oak Ridge officials have said that anyone who had more than a 5 percent decline in a property assessment could pay less, while anyone who owns property that increased in value, stayed about the same, or declined less than 5 percent could pay more.
The Oak Ridge Board of Education will also meet Monday, and that meeting is also expected to include budget talks. That meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the School Administration Building at 304 New York Avenue.
School officials are expected to discuss whether the budget passed by the city allows the 2 percent pay raise for educators. The meeting could also include a discussion of the proposed use of the fund balance and the impact of the expected 10-cent tax rate increase in Anderson County and the 30-cent increase in Roane. School officials have said the Anderson County increase could result in another $423,000 for Oak Ridge Schools, while the roughly $115,000 in extra revenue from Roane County could be about “a wash” because of an expected decrease of $120,000 based on actual receipts from fiscal year 2015.
The Anderson County Commission will consider adopting its new tax property tax rate during a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 30, in Room 312 of the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton.
At last check, Roane County didn’t have a date scheduled to adopt a new tax rate.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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