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Sequatchie County Commission Votes to Increase Property Tax Rate

After nearly one hour of public comment on the proposed tax levy of 1.8366 per $100 of assessed value, The Sequatchie County Commission approved the tax levy in a vote of 15-2. Commissioners voting against the tax levy were Chester Shell and Michael Hudson.

Commissioners were given a state-certified tax rate of $1.5566, but to balance this year’s budget, commissioners voted for the 28-cent tax increase, which amounted to an 18 percent increase on everyone’s taxes.
Commissioners who spoke on the budget explained that the budget had been worked on since April of this year. According to budget chairman Commissioner Jeff Barger, several options had been suggested and looked at. A proposed wheel tax that had been put on the agenda in the past was voted down. According to officials, the wheel tax could have helped keep the taxes down, but only about 20 percent of the county voted on the wheel tax option.
County Executive explained to the public that 38 percent of the budget went to the education department, 32 percent to the sheriff’s department, 18 percent to sanitation, and 12 percent to all other offices within the county.
Commissioner Jeff Mackey told the audience that Sequatchie County had not had a tax increase since 2014. Some of those years, Mackey pointed out, were good years and did not require a tax increase in the budget.
Those from the audience who spoke cited the tax increase would hurt older adults and possibly cause some of them to lose their homes. Another point by the speakers was that prices had increased and that they had to tighten their budget and asked the county if they could not tighten theirs. Commissioners were quick to point out that they could not vote on a budget that was not balanced, and if they cut the funding further, services to the citizens would be hurt.
Other items on the agenda that were approved were the appropriations for various funds and the appropriations for non-profits.