Ringgold to hold public hearings on millage rate

The city of Ringgold will hold three public hearings at City Hall — two meeting on July 31 and on meeting on Aug. 7 — to give residents to opportunity to speak about the proposed property tax rate increase.

Ringgold plans to keep its property tax rate the same it has been the past two years. But, since property values have increased in the past year, the rate will lead to a slight hike in property taxes.

During the July 8 City Council meeting, City Manager Dan Wright explained the options for the property tax (millage) rate and the amount of money that would be collected as a result.

“Last year we collected $649,459, or that’s what was levied,” Wright said. Based on the same millage rate of 3.11, we would collect $700,790. There was a rollback calculated as there is every year, and the rollback would reduce the millage rate to 3.064, and you (the city) would collect $690,425. We need to know the intent so we can publish those records.”

Mayor Nick Millwood said there’s been no talk of increasing the rate itself, but did acknowledge that more property taxes would be collected.

“I’ve heard no conversation about increasing our millage rate,” Millwood said. “I’m welcome to a motion to either keep the same millage rate, or do the small rollback. There’s very little difference in what we would accumulate between the two.”

“I move that we maintain the same millage rate for next year as we had for this year,” councilwoman Sara Clark replied.

The board unanimously (5-0) approved the motion of intent.

To give an idea of how the increase might impact a property owner, the proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $150,000 is approximately $2.26, and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $150,000 is approximately $2.34.

Now, the city has announced three public hearings that will give residents and business owners the opportunity to speak on the matter.

All three public hearings will be held at Ringgold City Hall at 150 Tennessee Street. The dates and times for said hearings are Wednesday, July 31, at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., and Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 5:30 p.m.

The council has also announced a special called meeting to take place on Thursday, Aug. 8, at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be to adopt the millage rate after the public hearings have taken place.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area.

He has been a reporter since 2009.