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Tensions Mount Over Proposed Brown Co. Property Tax Hike

brown county seal

Brown County taxpayers are a step closer to paying a little more in property taxes next year.

Commissioners approved the first reading of a higher maximum tax rate on a Zoom public meeting Wednesday afternoon.

If county council increases the rate from 0.0294 to 0.0333, that would mean an extra $1.85 a year for a home assessed at $192,000.

Commissioner Diana Biddle said the fund pays for the county’s IT expenses, maintenance on buildings, the county’s GIS system, and grounds upkeep, including ADA compliance.

Nashville resident Tim Clark said pennies add up. “The income tax rate we have in this county doubled within ten years,” Clark said.

He also asked for justification of the increase and why there was not more notice of the proposal.

“What the budget is going to be for, why you need the extra $56,000 etc. etc. You can explain maybe tax, but educate folks instead of dropping the bomb, having a hearing, and going to vote.”

Biddle said no one was more surprised than the commissioners. The state’s Department of Local Government Finance notified the commissioners in late February that all tax changes had to be submitted by April 30th.

“Counties have to do this for all of their cumulative funds and there’s about 30 different funds that are affected by this,” Biddle said.

She said the property taxes set by council actually have decreased between 2017 and 2021. But the largest property tax rate increase came from a school referendum.

The commissioners’ second reading of the proposal is scheduled for April 21st. County council has until August to decide on an actual increase.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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