Elizabethton City Council members were able to meet yesterday to hash out the final details for a proposed 2019-20 budget.
According to City Manager Daniel Estes, the proposed budget from Council includes a property tax increase by six cents, from $1.79 to $1.85.
The increase is being used to fund different projects and pay for increases to city staff.
Council came to the agreement to offer a three-percent raise across the board for all city staff, with “special provisions” for some Water Resources and Electric Department staff, Estes said in an email.
Estes said that since a three-percent raise is included in the current budget, this would make the second year in a row that Council has provided a three-percent raise.
The increase is also being used to bolster the downtown district. According to Estes, the increase would cover the cost of supporting the city’s move into the Main Street Program. The city will fund a full-time Main Street Director position with the increase.
Council also reportedly agreed to increase the city’s contribution to the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter by $25,000 and increase the city’s payment to Carter County 911 for dispatch services by $32,500, moving their overall total to nearly $210,000.
Estes added the property tax increase will also go to partially offset over $250,000 in revenue lost to the repeal of the Hall Income Tax and to provide an additional $50,000 for paving city streets.
The proposed budget will go before Council soon for a first reading. The budget must go through a first and second reading before being made official.