Jellico mistakenly erases property taxes

10:59 PM, Jul 12, 2013   |    comments
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(WBIR - Jellico) As of right now, the city of Jellico is one of the only governments in the state with zero property tax. But it's only temporary and was not intentional.

Earlier this month, the board of Aldermen accidentally deleted the entire property tax from the budget.

City leaders were hoping to fix that error at their special called meeting Friday night, but not enough aldermen showed up to meet a quorum.

On July 1st, the council was attempting to take a 50-cent property tax increase out of the budget, but instead erased the $1.15 per $100 of assessed value tax completely.

"There was a genuine mistake made that night," said Mayor Les Stiers.

This tax error is the latest in Jellico's ongoing financial problems.

The state comptroller was forced to get involved this budget session. Stiers said the state "put the fire under them" when they got too close to their July 1st budget deadline. He said they are not satisfied with the city's revenue sources or expenditures.

The city passed a budget on July 1st. When the city presented the state with their 2014 budget on July 2nd, the mayor said they were not pleased with their unbalanced budget. In fact, it is $121,000 off.

It was at that meeting that the comptroller's office noticed the property tax error in the city's minutes.

The comptroller told them to reinstate the tax and then they could tackle the rest of the budget.

"We've got to correct that first and then work with the state comptroller's office and hopefully get everything resolved by August 31st," said Mayor Stiers.

The city will have another expense to worry about on top of the already tight budget. Mayor Stiers said the IRS called them this week to notify them of a $160,000 bill in back payroll taxes.

The mayor said they will vote to amend the budget at their regularly scheduled meeting next Thursday July 18th.


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