Sullivan County to raise property tax for county needs, passes first vote

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Property owners in Sullivan County appear to be headed for a tax increase.

That’s after a vote Friday to raise property taxes to pay for things like school resource officers and pay raises for county employees.
    
The budget includes a tax rate of $2.62 cents on every $100 of taxable property.

The seven cent tax increase distribution would pay for additional school resource officers, staff at the county jail, pay raises for county employees and a new EMS facility, something Mayor Richard Venable said will improve response times for patients in need.

“That will be quicker to serve the areas that they serve. We will save minutes and minutes will save lives,” Venable said.

Though some commissioners disagree on increasing taxes, they all seem to agree it has to be done if there is no other solution.

“Not only am I a commissioner, I’m a citizen too, a citizen first and nobody likes higher taxes, but if we don’t have another solution in its place sometimes, we don’t have another solution than to do that,” Sullivan County Commissioner John Gardner said.

The proposed budget now moves to public comment and second reading.

The public can weigh in on the budget proposal on June 25 at 3:00 p.m. at the courthouse in Blountville.

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