Note: This story was last updated at 12:15 a.m.
The Oak Ridge City Council approved a budget on Monday that does not include a property tax rate increase, but it does include more money for schools and it anticipates increases in the trash fee and water and sewer rates.
The budget passed in a 6-1 vote in the first of two readings this month. The second and final reading is Monday, June 13.
Council rejected one motion to lower the $2.52 property tax rate by 4.4 cents and another to take away the additional $538,048 requested by Oak Ridge Schools and put it into the capital fund instead.
The budget does not increase the property tax rate for the ninth year in a row. After five-year reappraisals last year, the rate is now set at $2.52 per $100 of assessed value.
As approved on first reading Monday, the budget includes a 3 percent pay adjustment that will move municipal employees along their pay scales, helping to separate those who have worked for the city for a while from those who have just started. The school budget, which was approved by the Oak Ridge Board of Education in May, also includes 3 percent salary increases. [Read more…]