The next hearing will be tonight at 6 o’clock at the Catoosa County administrative building at 800 LaFayette St. in Ringgold. The regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners meeting will follow immediately.
The budget shows property taxes going up about $9 for every $100,000 of property value, if the budget is accepted later this month.
Carl Henson, chief financial advisor for Catoosa County, explained that because sales tax revenue was down in the 2009 calendar year compared to the previous calendar year, the state required rollback calculation produced an increase in net property taxes.
“I just wanted to make the statement that none of us up here are for a tax increase,” Catoosa County board of commissioners chairman Keith Greene said at this morning’s hearing.
Last year the public hearings drew crowds, mainly due to the state cutting the homestead tax relief grant. The cutting of the grant required homeowners to pay more than $100 additional in property taxes than the prior year.
However, this morning’s public hearing mainly saw department heads and public servants. About a dozen people attended the hearing besides the commissioners.
One private citizen and lifetime Catoosa resident, Wanda McAllister, approached the county with her concerns on the budget.
“I’m not in favor of any tax increases, “McAllister said. “At the end of the year, we’re going to be faced with federal tax increases.”
McAllister thanked the county for its public service and said she was “privileged and happy” to live in a county with good roads and services, but her plea on taxes remained the same.
“I beg you to find a way to cut the budget,” McAllister said. “We don’t want one tax increase, period.”
Greene said the county “still has some work to do” when it came to cutting the budget.
“We don’t want an increase in property taxes,” Greene said, “but we’re going through the same cycle as last year with sales tax revenue. We’ll continue to go through the budget looking for ways to cut back.”