ERWIN, Tenn. (WJHL) – Town of Erwin officials will meet this week to discuss the upcoming budget, and the current proposal includes a possible 40-cent property tax increase.
City Recorder Glenn Rosenoff said the budget is still in a draft phase right now, and the first reading is set for August 12th.
At this time, Rosenoff confirmed there is a projected 40-cent increase. Erwin’s current tax rate is set at $1.46
“There is a myriad of subjects that the town has had to address,” Rosenoff said by email to News Channel 11. “From replacing aged fleet of police vehicles (9 total in 3 years), hiring 2 additional police officers to increase community policing efforts, to adding a 3rd fire truck, fire rescue truck, and new gear and breathing apparatus, to replacing aged street department vehicles and equipment,“
Rosenoff added Erwin has several projects on the horizon.
“This year we have many capital projects that include nearly $650,000 dollars in road improvements (Elm Street and E. Erwin), as well as several ADA road intersection improvements, and budgeted nearly $300,000 of our Gas Tax monies to improve road conditions, pothole repairs, striping roads, new safety and directional signs, an extension of our linear trail at Fishery Park, to developing a masterplan for Fishery Park…Hiring a new Parks and Recreation employee to help advance park services. Complete a dog park. We employ great employees and have low turnover, through contributing to employees healthcare plans and retirement – a combined $700,000 annually in benefits,” he said via email.
A potential tax increase is no guarantee at this time, with two readings needed before a final approval.
But if residents do see an increase, Rosenoff said officials are expecting to see progress from economic initiatives already underway, including the recent opening of a Food City in Erwin.
“Food City is projected to increase local option sales tax, as well as other businesses locating downtown,” he said. “We are also investing in other areas of economic development from partnering with Unicoi Economic Development Board and the Buxton Group to promote retail at our exits, to local façade programs downtown, to improving infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and linear trail spillway bridges.”