Catoosa County commissioners will hold two public hearings on Thursday, at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., and on Sept. 2 at 6 p.m., on the tax changes. All three meetings will be at the Catoosa County Administrative Building, 800 LaFayette St. in Ringgold.
Catoosa County taxpayers are expected to pay less money toward schools and the state government next year. But those decreases are offset by a jump in local government taxes - and then some.
The county's Board of Commissioners received a copy of next year's proposed budget during a special called meeting Friday morning. A resident who owns $120,000 worth of land will see his property tax bill increase about $22 next year -- from $3,180 to $3,202.
Even though taxes are increasing a little bit, the amount of money going toward schools and the state government are actually going down next year compared to the current rate. So why the increase in taxes overall? Local government.
Compared to the current rate, taxpayers will give 11 percent more money to the Catoosa County government in the next fiscal year, should the proposed budget pass. The next fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
So, according to the proposed budget, a resident who owns $120,000 worth of land will pay an extra $34 toward the Catoosa County government next year compared to the current year. That will be partly offset by the shrinking taxes to schools and state government.
Most commissioners did not return calls seeking comment Friday afternoon. Commissioner Bobby Winters, in a telephone interview, said he needed time to digest the document.
"I'm just as confused as you are," he said. "I've just seen the budget."
Before voting on the tax increase, the commission will host three public hearings to let residents voice their opinions.
Overall, Tax Commissioner Sandra Self said, the tax increase will provide the Catoosa County government with about $1.1 million more in revenue.
While local government taxes are slated to increase next year, school taxes will decline 0.11 percent and state taxes will fall 33 percent.
Catoosa County Chief Financial Officer Carl Henson did not return multiple calls and an email seeking comment Friday.
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6476.