Tax hike this year? Probably not.

Spoke with Mayor Madeline Rogero on a few things this afternoon, and the subject turned to next week’s budget retreat. Looks like a property tax rate increase is unlikely for next year.

She didn’t have the agenda in front of her, but the retreat generally will be a discussion of the half-year to this point and the remainder of the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Really, though, what we want to know is whether our bottom line will increase. Can we expect a property tax rate increase?

“It would be my goal to not have one,” Rogero said, adding that the upcoming budget proposal is long from being set. “We are very early in the budget process, and we’ve got some tough expenses …  it sis my intention to not have tax increase.”

Again, the budget isn’t set. We’ll learn more next week, it seems.

We’ve talked about it property tax rate increases here before – and that’s really all that matters to most people living in any place. Also what do we get for that (police, fire, roads, parks …) comes into play, but most folks are looking at the bottom line: How much does it cost?

Early odds appear long for a tax increase. The majority of Council members are seeking re-election in the upcoming year. And any tax increase would have to be in place before voters go to the polls. Forcing a property tax rate increase would be bad politics for Council, which enjoys a fairly cordial relationship with the administration in most cases.

That said, it would seem that the timing for a property tax rate increase might be in the next budget (2014-15), but that’s a ways off. Rest assured that people who are smarter than I am (and there are pleeeeeeenty of those) have been talking about the when and how of whether and if a property tax rate increase should occur under Rogero’s term.

If I’m looking at it correctly, the city’s last property tax hike was in 2004, under Haslam.

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About Gerald

City reporter in Knoxville, TN. Work (mostly) inside and play (mostly) outside. I'm a part of the X or the Y generation. Neither of us claim the other.
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