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21-cent tax increase discussed
But it could be more if wheel tax fails
property tax

What will it cost you?

wheel tax

With the average home in Warren County valued at $107,000, a 21.7-cent tax increase would mean an extra $58 for the average homeowner.

A 21.7-cent property tax increase could be on the horizon for Warren County residents this year.

The increase, discussed by the county Budget and Finance Committee on Thursday night and without final approval at this time, would bring the property tax rate to $2.18, up from $1.96, and generate $1.43 million.

The additional money would be used to ease the financial needs of Warren County Schools with an additional 13.5 cents and the county’s General Fund with an additional 8.2 cents. 

By current estimates, every 1 cent the property tax is raised will generate almost $66,288 in revenue and would give schools $894,888 and the county $543,561.

Director of Schools Bobby Cox said the funds will be used to help provide teachers a $1,000 salary increase, complete the system’s Chromebook program, and purchase new computers.

Members of the committee deliberated for three hours and reviewed previously approved budgets and monetary allocations – making numerous cuts to both – in order to improve the county’s financial bottom line and allow extra funding for schools. 

“The General Fund needs another 8.2 cents, that’s the absolute minimum that it will take on top of what we have right now for the General Fund,” said Finance Department director Justin Cotten after the cuts were made.

Required in the General Fund at the end of fiscal year 2019-20 on June 30, 2020 is $1.8 million. An additional 8.2 cents in property tax would increase the county’s bottom line to that amount, if no additional expenses are added to the budget and a proposed wheel tax increase of $30 is approved. 

A $30 wheel tax is expected to generate $1.1 million a year. That increase will be voted on by the Warren County Commission this Monday, June 17, at 6:30 p.m. If the wheel tax does not pass, commissioners may have to consider additional cuts to the budgets and/ or a larger property tax increase.

According to information presented at the meeting, the average home in Warren County is valued at $107,000. A tax rate of $2.18 equates to $584 a year, an additional $58 from the $1.96 property tax rate. 

The budget also does not include across-the-board salary increases for county employees at this time. 

Budget and Finance Committee members Richard Grissom, Daniel Owens, Christy Ross and Tommy Savage gave unanimous approval for providing the School System with an additional 13.5 cents in property taxes. That decision will be presented to Warren County School Board on June 20 at 5 p.m. for its consideration. However, consideration by the county’s Financial Management and final approval by the Warren County Commission is required. 

Committee members took no vote on the discussed property tax increase. Instead, the discussion was tabled pending the outcome of Monday night’s wheel tax vote and consideration for across-the-board pay raises for county employees.

A tentative date of Tuesday, June 25, at 6:30 p.m. has been set for the county’s Budget and Finance Committee to reconvene and continue budget discussions.