Lincoln County leaders propose new property tax increase, commission vote set for July 18

WAFF 48's Romario Gardner reporting
Published: Jul. 10, 2023 at 11:57 PM CDT

LINCOLN CO., Tenn. (WAFF) - County leaders in Lincoln County are racing against the clock to approve a new budget.

On Monday night, the budget committee unanimously approved a new 86-cent property tax increase proposal.

This comes after county Commissioners failed to meet the initial deadline of July 1 after a vote to increase property taxes by $1.10 failed on June 20.

Newly elected finance director Jason Nix said the committee has been tasked with a paramount decision.

“It’s imperative to pass a property tax increase that will get us back to the black is as quickly as we can,” said Nix.

Many members of the community felt this was a lackluster decrease. Homeowner Joan Burnett feels this is still too much at one time.

“If they’ve done it little by little, I think over the years, it wouldn’t be so hard for people to swallow,” said Burnett, “But because they’re trying to just gouge you all at once in one year out of the blue, I think that’s much.”

Committee members said the decrease removes excess spending but allows raises for city employees, and accounts for money which could be used to build a new school behind Highland Rim. County Mayor Bill Newman said this decrease is in respect of his citizens.

“We serve the people,” said Newman, “You know, people need to be heard and that’s one of the things in a democracy. And I think democracy has been well served in Lincoln County over the last few months. People express their opinion. And I think they need to be listened to.”

County commissioners will vote on the budget Tuesday, July 18 in the Lincoln County Courthouse at 6 p.m.

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