Lincoln County property tax increase vote fails again

WAFF 48's Romario Gardner reporting
Published: Jul. 18, 2023 at 11:57 PM CDT
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LINCOLN CO., Tenn. (WAFF) - Many Lincoln County Tennessee residents are divided on actions from county leaders regarding the 2023-2024 fiscal year budget.

During Tuesday night’s county commission meeting, a vote to approve the budget failed three separate times.

At first, Commissioners debated an 86 cent per thousand dollar increase in property taxes which failed. This is a step down from the initial proposal of a $1.10 increase that also failed.

Two more motions were filed with a proposal of a 70 cent and 80 cent increase which also failed.

The room was split down the middle with those wishing for the increase and those who did not. Don Jenkins pointed to the lack of transparency from commissioners.

“I love debate,” said Jenkins. “But there was no detail to the debate other than the Budget Committee Chair saying that’s not enough. Well, that’s not enough. What is enough? And where is your budget item discussion about revenues and expenses?”

A majority of those in favor of a property tax increase are part of the Highland Rim community.

Half of the tax increase goes to the county, and the other half goes to the education fund.

The increase could have been used to make improvements and build a new school behind the current campus.

“Highland Rim really needs an upgrade,” said Dr. Bill Heath who is the superintendent for Lincoln County Schools. “The whole facility, We have a growing area down there. So I’m disappointed that something wasn’t passed tonight.”

A budget needs to be passed by October 1 before the state comptroller drafts one for Lincoln County.

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