Gallatin city leaders have chosen not to move forward with a proposed 4 cent property tax increase.
In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Gallatin City Council chose to accept the new certified tax rate of 80 cents per $100 of assessed value from Sumner County Assessor of Property John Isbell following the recently completed mass reappraisal of all property in the county.
The revenue-neutral rate is required to be set by state law after every reappraisal in order to prevent local governments from automatically collecting more money in tax revenues as a result of the process.
The decision comes three weeks after city leaders took an initial step towards possibly raising property taxes 4 cents in order to help protect against any potential lost revenue as a result of ongoing disputed assessment values that are being appealed to the state.
“I’m just really feeling burdened by the burden the county is putting on our residents,” Mayor Paige Brown said last week citing a recent Sumner County Commission decision to raise county property taxes by 17 percent. “This could put a financial hardship on this city, but I don’t want our citizens to bite the bullet. I’d rather we bite the bullet.”
According to data provided by the city, the owners of $200.7 million worth of property in Gallatin have filed an appeal with the state asking that their property values be lowered. If all of the appeals are granted, the new values would total $131.3 million – a difference of $69.4 million. The change would result in a loss of $626,431 in tax revenue for the city.
In order to make up the entire difference, it would take 8 cents more than the certified tax rate of 80 cents, Gallatin Finance Director Rachel Nichols told city leaders last month.
Gallatin’s current fiscal year for 2019-20 started July 1. The city’s previous property tax rate was 99 cents.