By ALEXANDER WILLIS
The Williamson County Commission will vote on whether to approve a previously proposed property tax increase Monday during its monthly meeting at the Administrative Complex in Franklin. If passed, it would be the first increase the county has seen in over ten years.
First introduced by the board for Williamson County Schools, the proposed tax increase would see the current county rate of $2.15 per $100 of assessed value increase by 5%, coming to $2.26. This tax rate is separate from each city’s own tax rate, which is set by each respective municipality.
Budget Committee Chair Steve Smith had previously said the need for a tax increase was solely to help fund Williamson County School’s operating budget, which includes things like salaries for teachers and administrative staff. Smith said everything else in the county’s budget was “fine,” and that the school system’s operating budget demonstrated a shortfall of about 11 cents, hence the need for the tax rate increase.
Currently, the starting salary in Williamson County Schools for new teachers is $37,500, substantially lower than Davidson County’s rate of $43,363. In fact, Williamson County Schools is lower than many of its neighboring counties in terms of teacher salaries, including Dickson, Wilson, Rutherford and Montgomery counties.
The public had its first opportunity to provide feedback on the tax rate increase proposal in June during a public hearing, which saw the majority voice their support for the increase given teacher’s comparatively lower salaries in Williamson County.
The County Commission will vote on the proposed tax increase on July 8 at 9 a.m. at the Administrative Complex in Franklin, 1320 West Main Street, Franklin, TN 37064. The meeting will be open to the public, and have opportunities for public comment.