SEVIER COUNTY - The city of Sevierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen are set to approve a 20-cent property tax hike next Monday, Sept. 19 that will serve to fund a new main fire station.
The board unanimously approved the tax increase on second reading at a special called meeting Monday night. The property tax rate would increase to $0.497 per $100 worth of all taxable property. Residential property in Sevierville is taxed at 25 percent of the appraised value, and commercial property is taxed at 40 percent of the appraised value.
"Kind of doing the mental math in my head, it's probably a less than $100 increase per year on the average household," said Russell Treadway, city administrator.
Treadway said he could not remember the last time Sevierville raised its property tax.
To compare with Knoxville, the city of Knoxville lists its property tax rate at $2.7257 per $100 assessed value.
Treadway contributes the lower tax rate to the amount of money Sevierville generates from sales tax and tourism dollars.
The money generated from the increase in property tax will go toward building a new main fire station on Dolly Parton Parkway on the eastern side of town.
"We need a new fire station, and where we're putting it out on Dolly Parton Parkway is in a huge growth area," said Sevierville Mayor Bryan Atchley. "A lot of residential growth, a lot of business growth out through there."
The current main station is located in the downtown area and is about 55 years old. The property tax hike will serve toward staffing the new station, paying for operating costs and paying off the building.
Once the new station is complete, the downtown location will be rebuilt so the city will have three fire stations.
"We've been operating in some pretty basic and pretty dated areas so this will give us a great opportunity to provide a new facility for our firefighters," Treadway said.
The city is planning to break ground on the new location in early 2017, and it will take at least another year to complete the roughly $6 million building.
The mayor said he believes raising taxes was the right thing to do to meet the needs of the growing community.
"You never like to raise any kind of tax, but the need is so great," Atchley said. "The safety of our citizens is our number one concern."
(© 2016 WBIR)