Chattanooga City Council considers fee exemptions for two downtown churches

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / The steeples of Saint Paul's Episcopal, left, and Second Presbyterian flank the Republic Centre on February 13, 2020.

The Chattanooga City Council will consider an ordinance Tuesday that would permanently exempt two churches within the downtown business improvement district from fees that fund certain services in the zone.

Nonprofit organizations that own property in the district can seek reduction or waivers of the fee on a case-by-case basis each year.

Property owners pay an annual assessment of $0.09 per square feet plus $4.95 per linear foot of lot frontage, according to the Downtown Chattanooga Alliance website, and homeowners of a condo or townhome in the zone pay a flat fee of $150.

Stephen Brookes, executive director of the Downtown Chattanooga Alliance, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press in an interview that Second Presbyterian Church, 700 Pine St., and Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, 305 W. 7th St., would no longer have to request a waiver for the annual fee levied on their houses of worship if council approves the change.