The Oak Ridge City Council will consider the municipal budget and a proposed two-cent tax rate increase on Monday evening, June 3.
The two-cent tax rate increase would raise the property tax rate from $2.54 per $100 of assessed value to $2.56. It would be the second tax rate increase in the past two years after about a decade of no tax rate increases.
Each cent on the property tax rate generates about $80,000 in revenue.
The city’s general fund is about $26.2 million, and its total budget, including all funds such as school funds and utility funds, is roughly $210 million.
The budget has to be considered in two readings, or meetings. Tonight’s vote is the first reading. The second and final reading will be on Monday, June 10.
The schools have asked the city for the same amount of funding in the next fiscal year as in the current fiscal year, about $15.5 million, according to a memo from Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson to the City Council.
The proposed budget includes a 2 percent pay increase that would go into effect in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, and a 1 percent pay scale adjustment in January, Watson said after a budget presentation to City Council on Tuesday.
The tax rate increase will help offset the debt for the new Oak Ridge Schools Preschool and Oak Ridge Senior Center, which are both under construction, Watson said.
Besides the pay rate increase, the proposed budget includes an additional $300,000 in one-time funding for capital projects in Oak Ridge Schools, and it absorbs the costs of three school resource officers, who are primarily stationed at Oak Ridge High School, Jefferson Middle School, and Robertsville Middle School.
It has money for roofs—$500,000 for the Oak Ridge Public Library and $100,000 for the Central Services Complex—and new dispatcher and animal control positions, Watson said.
You can see the agenda for tonight’s meeting here. The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
Most news stories on Oak Ridge Today are free, brought to you by Oak Ridge Today with help from our advertisers, contributors, and subscribers. This is a free story. Thank you to our advertisers, contributors, and subscribers. You can see what we cover here.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today.
Copyright 2019 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.