Property tax increase possible in Greene County for first time in 4 years

(Photo: WJHL)

GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Property owners in Greene County could see a tax increase for the first time in four years.

The Budget and Finance Committee is proposing a property tax increase to help offset the county’s $1.7 million deficit in the general fund.

The Mayor of Greene County David Crum would like to use some of that money to make repairs to some buildings in the county.

One of the buildings Crum said needs repairs is the courthouse.

He said the roof has been leaking for years, leaving damage to all three floors.

“It’s going to take a while to repair,” Crum said.

The roof on the 101-year-old building is currently being replaced, and the steps were replaced in November. But the damage inside is still there.

The courthouse is just one of the capital projects Crum says is in need of repair.

“The election office, it’s roof is in need of repair and guttering. The EMS offices over on Summer Street has a leak in their roof,” he said.

Crum says he has raised these issues to the budget and finance committee and will also address them to the county commission.

“Maintaining one of the lowest tax rates in the state has allowed our buildings to deteriorate to the point we can continue to not fund that and let them fall down,” said Crum.

The Budget and Finance Committee is also looking to offset the county’s $1.7 million deficit with a potential property tax increase.

“That’s where at least four cents, five if I give what’s needed in order to fund capital projects,” said Crum.

Currently, property owners in Greene County pay $1.66 property tax rate and in the city, they pay $1.87.

Crum says one of the options is to make the property tax a flat rate in the city and the county at $2 making a 34 cent increase in the county and 13 cent increase in the city.

On a $100,000 home, that would be $500 per year.

Crum says the county has made cuts out of the budget for several years and a tax increase seems to be the best option.

Elwanda and R.L. Carpenter have lived in Greene County since 1964. Elwanda thinks property taxes should be raised.

“We need to pay for what we need,” she said. “We don’t need to just sit on our hands and act like there’s nothing we can do.”

The Budget and Finance Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday at 1 p.m.

The full commission meets June 19.

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