FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson stood frustrated at the podium. The Williamson County Commission had just voted to approve its $650 million budget, when Williamson County Commissioner Gregg Lawrence wanted to redo the property tax rate as proposed.
"If we're going to raise taxes you need to know about it," Lawrence said, despite the fact two public hearings were held during the process along with months of public budget meetings prior to Monday's vote.
Beforehand, commissioners faced raising the property tax rate 13 cents after appraisal to $1.88 per $100 assessed value. The county’s certified tax rate is $1.75.
"I will let you know that I will tell these employees you didn’t vote for their raises," Anderson said. "We are fighting like the dickens to keep employees and find employees. We are going in reverse order. I am going to recommend we look at pay. It’s not kosher for me to stand up here and say this is vodoo financing. Here we are on the 11th hour and making changes. I am sorry. I don’t like tax increases, but we are in a growing community. I am trying to understand where have y'all been during this budget process. We have got a dad gum good county."
After much discussion, the commission voted to keep the rate "as is" along with its budget for the next fiscal year, voting down Lawrence's amendment to alter the property tax rate. Previously, the commission had wanted to tinker with the budget, frustrating some commissioners during the process.
"We are a little late in the ballgame to be trying to do something creative," Commissioner Dwight "Bubba" Jones said.
The new rate will adjust for school growth along with county facility growth, which includes the jail and court facilities.
Here is the breakdown for where each penny goes:
- $.38 will go to the County General Fund
- $.05 will go to the Solid Waste/Sanitation Fund
- $1.09 will go to the General Purpose Schools Fund
- $.22 will go to the General Debt Service Fund
- $.14 will go to the Rural Debt Service Fund