Washington Co. commission approves 40 cent property tax increase

WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Washington County Commissioners approved a 40 cent property tax increase Monday night.

The property tax increase is the first tax increase since 2008 and 27 cents of the 40 cent increase will go to school capital projects, which would include building a new school in Boones Creek.

Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge said the tax increase would help pay for 11 capital needs of the county.

“The commission took a very bold step tonight in acting in the way they did to designate a stream of revenue that is going to take  care of the capital needs of this county for many many years to come,” said Eldridge.

Here is a breakdown of the .40 according to Eldridge:

  • .27 will go to school capital projects
  • .03 will go to school operating budget
  • .04 to general government capital projects
  • .05 to the general fund
  • .01 to highway capital projects- bridges

During the meeting Monday night, 45 people signed up to speak about the proposed tax increase. Some said they were disappointed in the motion because they are not exactly sure where the funds will go.

“I am disappointed,” said taxpayer, Andy Davenport. “32 cents of this is going into a slush fund,  that they have no idea what they are going to spend it on yet.”

Others said they don’t mind to pay the 40 cents, as long as it is going towards education.

“Any time you invest in children and education it’s great,” said Boone Creek Elementary school teacher, Danielle Shupe. “That’s where your future is going to come from. They need to put the money in education so we can be comparable to other schools in the area.”

Commissioner Robbie Tester motioned to lower the tax increase total from 40 cents to 29 cents, but the motion failed.

Several community officials spoke at the meeting Monday, including Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe who said Jonesborough schools are in desperate need of renovations.

Johnson City Commissioner Ralph Van Brocklin was also at the meeting and said “I am not wild about a tax increase, but you can raise my taxes for new schools.”

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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