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Carter Commission votes for 11-cent property tax increase

John Thompson • Jul 17, 2018 at 11:22 PM

ELIZABETHTON — It took until 1:30 Tuesday morning, but the Carter County Commission finally passed a budget and property tax rate for 2018.

The Commission had previously voted down the budget proposed by the Budget Committee at 9 p.m. Monday, but later agreed to fund the budget with the addition of a small pay raise for county employees who work in the offices of the courthouse, the Highway department and the paraprofessionals of the Carter County School System.

The additional cost of the raise was covered by a property tax increase that is 2 cents higher than the increase recommended by the Budget Committee. The increase will be 11 cents.

The new tax rate would be $2.58 per $100 of assessed value.

The budget is not yet official; Mayor Leon Humphrey must approve it. He said more than a month ago that he would veto any increase in the property tax rate.

He has scheduled a press conference for this morning.

In the event Humphrey does veto the budget, it will take a simple majority of the commission to override the veto.

The final budget came more than seven hours after the Commission meeting began at 6 p.m. The marathon session included 47 roll call votes, and proposed property tax rates ranging from $2.47 to $2.59 were rejected.

The budget and tax rate were approved by a 14-9 vote.

Commissioners voting for the budget were: Willie Campbell, Buford Peters, Roy Acuff, Mike Hill, Al Meehan, Brad Johnson, Danny Ward, Ross Garland, Bobbie Gouge-Dietz, Randall Jenkins, Doc Miller, Sonja Culler, Ray Lyons, and Kelly Collins.

Commissioners voting against the budget and increase were: Nancy Brown, Ronnie Trivett, Charlie Von Cannon, Isaiah Grindstaff, Tim Holder, John Lewis, Scott Simerly, Robert Carroll and Cody McQueen. L.C. Tester was absent.

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