Obion officials OK property tax increase

Obion officials OK property tax increase

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
A new 2012-13 budget was introduced by the Obion city council Monday night and it contains a 10-cent property tax increase.
The new budget was approved on the first of two readings, with only Mayor Glen Parnell voting against the budget because of the tax hike.
The council will consider second and final approval of the budget in two weeks.
The 18-page budget was drafted by the council’s budget committee and relies on $2,155,085 in revenues. The spending plan is broken down into seven separate accounts.
Obion’s new budget increases the property tax rate from $1.55 to $1.65 for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Also included in the budget were minor increases in water and sewer rates and utility connection fees.
“Jana (Fluty) has really worked hard on this budget,” council member Patsy Barker said during a 15-minute public hearing Monday night. Mrs. Fluty is the city recorder.
There was no public opposition to the budget during the public hearing and the actual vote on the budget came without any significant discussion or debate.
Immediately following the public hearing, the council met in regular session and proceeded through approval of three city ordinances related to the budget. The actual budget ordinance was approved on the first of two readings by a 5-1 vote, while the water and sewer ordinance and schedule of fees ordinance both passed by a 6-0 vote on their first reading.
Parnell called the property tax increase unnecessary since the city has about $135,000 in a CD. However, it was pointed out the council is trying to build up a fund reserve to use for business development.
Under the water and sewer ordinance, the minimum bills inside the city limits will increase by $1, to $11. Outside the city limits, the minimum water and sewer bill will increase from $16.79 to $17.79.
The charge to be connected to the city’s water system will go from $75 to $100 and the reconnect fee will increase from $20 to $30 under the new budget.
The council also unanimously approved an employee pay scale, which will go into effect after second and final approval of the budget.
Monday night’s meeting lasted 25 minutes, with only council member James Depriest absent from the meeting. The meeting was opened in prayer by council member Polk Glover and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Parnell.

Published in The Messenger 9.18.12

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