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Ted Rogers is the City Manager for Collegedale

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article erroneously reported that the new property tax rate of $1.65 per $100 of a home's assessed value would increase property taxes by $472 annually on a $150,000 and $619 annually on a $300,000. Those increases would actually amount to $147 annually for a $150,000 home and $293 for a $300,000 home.

The city of Collegedale is proposing a 39-cent property tax increase in its 2019-20 budget, commissioners were told at a work session Tuesday. The new revenue for city operations would be the first since 2008.

Combined with a 49-cent tax property tax increase being considered by Hamilton County, Collegedale taxpayers could face a combined 88-cent hike in taxes. Collegedale raised taxes 18 cents in 2011 with all the money dedicated to operations of the library after Chattanooga and Hamilton County gave the building to the city.

City Manager Ted Rogers presented the budget, which will be heard on first reading June 3 followed by a final vote on June 17. Rogers told commissioners the $1.3 million in new revenue resulted in a total revenue budget of $11.6 million, up 15% from the 2018-19 approved budget. Rogers said the budget reflects $11.5 million in expenses.

Rogers told commissioners the new property tax rate of $1.65 per $100 of assessed value would increase property taxes by $147 annually on a $150,000 home and $293 annually on a $300,000.

Commissioners were told the budget funds $1.34 million in capital projects, including a new roof for city hall, eight new police cars and a new dump trunk. The proposed spending plan increases the paving budget by 63% and includes a 6 percent raise for employees, 3% of which is retroactive to last year.

"I think this is a good budget," Commissioner Tim Johnson said.

Among the smaller municipalities in Hamilton County, Collegedale, Signal Mountain and Lookout Mountain have proposed property tax increases while proposed budgets in Soddy-Daisy, Red Bank, East Ridge and Lakesite do not.

The Hamilton County school board has requested $34 million in new revenue for operations, which would require a 34-cent property tax increase, while initial numbers from Mayor Jim Coppinger would require a 15-cent property tax increase.

Coppinger said Tuesday night at a community meeting in East Brainerd that the county general budget would be finalized by Friday and presented to the county commission at a budget workshop at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The city of Chattanooga is not proposing a property tax increase.

Collegedale is the only municipality other than Chattanooga that operates its own sewer system. The Sewer Enterprise Fund projects a 4% revenue increase, a $113,630 surplus and $2.28 million in capital improvements.

Contact Davis Lundy at davislundy@aol.com.

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