Fayetteville, TN officials propose property tax increase, 5% pay raise for some city employees

WAFF 48's Romario Gardner reporting
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 11:57 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2023 at 6:18 AM CDT

FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (WAFF) - The deadline for a Fiscal Year 2024 budget vote in Fayetteville is fast approaching.

On Monday, city officials debated how the upcoming fiscal year’s budget should be spent during a special meeting. Many residents packed city hall following a survey released online showing some city employees could receive up to a 76% salary increase.

Fayetteville Mayor Donna Hartman cleared up the confusion saying the survey, conducted by consulting firm Burris Thompson & Associates, was only a reference developed using data from 77 cities and counties within Tennessee on the cost of living wages. Some city Aldermen claim the Mayor did not fill them in on the survey.

During the meeting, city officials agreed on a 35-cent property tax increase. This would increase the current city rate from $1.50 to $1.85 per $100 of assessed value.

Mayor Hartman said the increase would account for a 5% pay raise for police officers, firefighters, and sanitation workers.

Many residents who live within the city limits have to pay both city and county taxes on their homes. Additionally, Lincoln County is looking into the possibility of raising its property tax rate from $2.10 to $3.20 per $100 of assessed value.

Resident Steve Halburg lives in the city and believes these prices are unacceptable.

“My wife and I are both retired. We’re on limited incomes,” Halburg said. “You know, it’s going to cause havoc in our budget as well as the cost of the increase in everything these days.”

The Mayor said she understands this may be difficult on some households with rampant inflation, but she believes this is necessary for those on the front lines.

“We need to take care of our lower-paid employees,” Mayor Hartman said. “Especially our police, our fire department. Our sanitation department, these people are on the streets all the time. They’re working hard to take care of us whether they’re protecting us or whether they’re picking up our garbage.”

There will be a public comment held on June 13 at 5 p.m. regarding the budget and the board is expected to make a vote afterwards.

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