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County budget jumps final hurdle

Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 1:26 pm

Amended plan including 22-cent property tax increase passes 12-2

05-27-16 County Budget art2LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — The Metro Lynchburg/Moore County Council finally has a new budget in place for Fiscal Year 2016-17. The Council passed the third reading of the amended budget during a special called meeting on Monday.

The new budget includes a 22-cent tax increase.

It took an extra month to get this year’s budget through the council following a failed first reading of the original budget back in May.

At the council’s regular monthly meeting on May 16, Budget Committee chairman Tommy Brown presented a budget to the council that included a 20-cent property tax increase. By roll call vote, the new budget received seven ‘yes’ votes, five ‘no’ votes and one ‘pass.’

The Council thought that the budget had passed its first reading, but after further investigation, John T. Bobo, the county’s attorney, informed council members that he “could not locate the Charter Amendment during the meeting but reviewed it afterwards and (found) that passage requires an affirmative vote of a majority of the entire council (and) that is eight votes,” therefore it had failed to meet the requirements.

Sent back to the drawing board, the Budget Committee presented a new budget to the Council in June, which included a 25-cent property tax increase.

That Council passed the first reading of that budget.

At the Council’s July meeting, however, Brown told council members that the Budget Committee felt as though a 22-cent tax increase would suffice.

The 25-cent increase the Committee proposed in June was intended to pay off the county’s $1.4 million jail renovation project sooner than expected. It would in fact get the debt off the county’s books in just one year. Brown told the Council on July 18 that they could accomplish the same task with a 22-cent tax increase.

After making an amendment to the proposed budget, the Council passed it on second reading by an 11-3 vote.

Monday’s third reading passed 12-2.

Wayne Rhoton, Glenn Searcy, Parks Norman, Gordon Millsaps, Patrick Maynard, Coleman March, Wayne Hawkins, Denning Harder, Marty Copeland, Amy Rhoton Cashion, Brown and Keith Huffer voted ‘yes,’ while, Arvis Bobo and Shaun Adams each cast a ‘no’ vote. David Boyce was absent.

The next meeting for the Metro Lynchburg/Moore County Council is scheduled for Aug. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion.

Figuring the tax

State law establishes the assessment ratio for different classes of property. Residential and farm is set at 25 percent of its appraised value, while the rate for commercial/industrial property is set at 40 percent of its appraised value.

To figure residential and farm property taxes at the current rate, take 25 percent of the parcel’s appraised value; divide by 100; and multiply by 2.43.

For instance, if a parcel is appraised at $200,000, take 25 percent, which is $50,000 and divide by 100. That’s 500. Now multiply 500 by 2.43. The result is $1,215 in annual property taxes.

At the amended rate proposed during Monday’s meeting, that same parcel of land would have an annual tax of $1,325 or an increase of $110. Land that appraised for $100,000 would see an increase of $55 annually.

Where it’s going:

—County General: $1.02

—Solid Waste: $.10

—Highway: $.015

—Debt Service: $.31

—Capital Project: $.015

—School Department: $1.19

Total: $2.65

—Urban Services: $.04

Total in Urban Services district: $2.69

 —By ROBERT HOLMAN, Publisher (

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