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Unicoi County tax rate to generate less cash than previous year

June 26th, 2014 9:07 pm by Brad Hicks

Unicoi County tax rate to generate less cash than previous year

ERWIN — A penny will be worth slightly less in the 2014-15 fiscal year and, at Thursday’s meeting of the Unicoi County Commission’s Budget Committee, officials learned why.

In the 2013-14 fiscal year, each cent on the county’s property tax rate generated $30,310. In the 2014-15 fiscal year, a penny on the rate is expected to bring in $30,086, a regression of $224. The property tax rate in 2013-14 was $2.6838 per $100 on real property.

Unicoi County Assessor of Property Patsy Bennett was present at Thursday’s meeting. As Bennett explained, the regression in the penny’s worth in the new fiscal year can be attributed to the loss of properties from the tax roll. These include the town of Erwin’s purchase of the former Morgan Insulation property and Nuclear Fuel Services’ purchases of homes in the vicinity of the plant, as well as the closure of the IGA grocery store on North Main Avenue. However, Bennett said the county will gain Tractor Supply in the new fiscal year and picked up the Pal’s restaurant in the previous year.

“We were back and forth,” Bennett said. “I’d lose some then gain some, lose some and gain some.”

According to numbers provided to commissioners present by Bennett, the property tax revenue is expected to generate $8,074,437 in the 2014-15 fiscal year, around $60,000 down from the $8,134,581 generated in in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The committee also heard from Unicoi County Economic Development Director Tish Oldham. Economic development has requested $89,534 in the 2014-15 fiscal year for industrial development, up from the $48,895 funded in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Oldham said this is in part due to Economic Development going back to a standard fiscal year rather than a calendar year, a loss of funding in $20,000 from the Northeast Tennessee Regional Industrial Development Authority, and the hiring of a new position. She also said there will be upfront, non-recurring costs in 2014-15, such as costs related to the establishment of a new website. Oldham said the department has worked to cut costs over the past year, including not filling positions lost through attrition and cutting its marketing costs.

The county’s budget committee will meet this Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Unicoi County Courthouse. The committee, which is working to prepare the county’s 2014-15 fiscal year budget, is expected to discusses the proposed budgets of the the Unicoi County mayor’s office, the Unicoi County Election Commission and the Unicoi County Register of Deeds on Tuesday. 

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