The Crossville city council approved a provision to provide a property tax freeze for senior citizens who meet income limits meaning that if the eligible property owner properly files each year, their property tax bill would not increase.
The matter was brought to the council's agenda by council member J. H. Graham III who outlined the change in state Constitution that was approved by voters statewide several years ago. Mr. Graham explained that the state comptrollers office would calculate the income limit each year for the county and that in the case of improvements to a property, the value of the improvements would be taxed.
Graham said he knocked on a lot of doors running for election and said “most of the folks that were over 65 on fixed income would really appreciated this.” Graham moved to adopt the resolution to put the property tax freeze into effect. Graham's motion received a second from councilman Danny Wyatt.
Councilman Scot Shanks questioned city finance director Fred Houston about how the program would be administered and how the city could handle that? Houston explained that the process would be difficult but that they could do it if they have to. HE said the taxes for those under the freeze would have to be done manually and not on the computer as most taxes are calculated. According to Houston, the more that take advantage of the more work it will be.
Houston added that the participant will have to come in each year to prove their income falls under the limit set and if for some reason they skip a year they could reapply but the freeze would be at the new tax rate if it had changed since they first applied for the freeze.
Councilwoman Pamala Harris said that she knew it would be work to set up at first but that “we need to serve our community the best way that we can.”
It was agreed that the program would not become an issue unless the council approved a tax increase.
The motion was approved unanimously.