City of Chattanooga Hosts Roundtable
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Without a state income tax in Tennessee, cities like Chattanooga depend heavily on property taxes to fund local government.
New Assessments this year will bring in more money, but city officials are looking for a way to help citizens who are on a fixed income.
The Tennessee general assembly passed a bill 10 years ago allowing local government to freeze property taxes for citizens over 65, with an income of less that 38- thousand-700 dollars. That hasn’t happened yet.
Mayor Andy Berke and councilman Ken Smith were talking about that with a citizens group. The new property assessment was a big topic.
Mayor Andy Berke, Chattanooga said, “Particularly in a city that’s doing really well economically, that’s a struggle for citizens, because costs go up so much And senior citizen tax relief is a way for us to affect that.”
Councilman smith has been urging council to pass that ordinance for senior tax relief several years .
Councilman Ken Smith, district 3 said, “The senior tax freeze as a whole, once we have a few more details. I am definitely inclined to support this senior tax freeze. Absolutely that’s why I’ve been working on this for a few months… Keeping it as a topic.”
Some of the participants felt Chattanooga citizens already get a break on property taxes.
But the tax break could become a reality.
Mayor Andy Berke, Chattanooga says, “Actually, people have to apply for it. So we won’t know until we know how many people apply. What we do know is that there are a number of seniors in our city who are seeing their expenses rise while their income stays flat. ”
Mayor Berke says he hopes to include that in the budget for next year.
He will unveil it on August 1st.