Thursday, October 21, 2021
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State Relief For Property Tax On Hold As Numbers Come In

State reimbursement for Putnam County’s tornado-related tax short falls has been put on hold.

Representative Ryan Williams said Governor Bill Lee’s office and FEMA have recommended to wait and see if excess revenue could fill the gap instead.

“The costs associated with the tornadoes will be in by the end of this calendar year, which leaves a quarter left in the fiscal year, but because those moneys are set in a reserve account and yet to be consumed,” Williams said. “Then, we’ll be able to take a look.”

Williams said the state set aside about $10 million for tax revenue loses last year, but it has not been used. Williams said he still plans to pursue the relief for Putnam County, as well as other counties affected.

“In the 21 fiscal year, we set aside moneys equivalent to $10 million for tax relief for those communities not only affected by the March tornadoes, but also in upper east Tennessee two weeks later,” Williams said.

Williams said he expects the the original proposed $4.5 million will likely decrease to about $3 million if approved. Williams said commercial properties being dropped from the discussion caused the change.

“With discussions with the Governor’s Office and FEMA, they stated let’s wait until all the revenues come in to see what the costs were,” Williams said.” And if there were revenues left over from that, because it usually takes two to three years to get that.”

Putnam County has not gone without relief, however. Williams said about $100 million was included in the budget for tax relief and grants, and the county benefited from that.

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