Elizabethton City Council to hold final vote on 2019-20 budget on Thursday

John Thompson • Jun 25, 2019 at 6:33 PM

ELIZABETHTON — With the current fiscal year dwindling down to its final few days before it ends on June 30, the Elizabethton City Council is preparing to hold a public hearing on the proposed budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year and pass it on second and final reading.

The council also will vot on a 6-cent increase in the city’s property tax rate.

The special called session to consider the budget will be held Thursday, June 27, at 4 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. The meeting marks the culmination of the budget process that began with city staff meetings in February, followed by nine budget workshops for the council, and a first reading on the budget and tax rate on June 13.

After all those meetings, the details of the budget have become familiar to city councilmen. The total appropriations for Fiscal Year 2020 are projected to be $19,536,405. Total appropriations for the electric department are $61,222,071. Total appropriations for Water Resources are $10,277,185.

There is nothing in the new budget requiring the increase in the property tax rate from $1.79 to $1.85 per $100 of assessed value. The reason for the increase is to prepare the way for the lost revenue from the state as a a result of the repeal of the Hall Income Tax.

That tax is being phased out and the city is replacing the lost revenue it received from the tax with a 4-cent increase in the property tax rate. The Hall Tax has been phased out over the past few years. At its peak, the city of Elizabethton received $255,000 from the tax on investments.

The other 2-cent increase in the property tax rate will be applied to the city’s increased effort to pave streets. That additional revenue will increase the budget for repaving from $400,000 to $453,891.

City residents are also facing an increase in the garage collection fee. The residential collection fee would increase $3 per month, going from $10 to $13 per month. That fee increase will provide an additional $185,498 to the sanitation fund.

The sanitation fund’s bulk container fee would also be increased from $21.85 to $25 per pickup. That will result in an estimated increase of $80,000 in revenue.

The council will also hold a public hearing and final reading on the Elizabethton Board of Education’s budget for 2019-20. The budget includes $23,476,895 in revenues and reserves in the school department’s general fund; $1,826152 in the federal projects fund; and $1,220,075 in the school lunch program.

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