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Bartlett looking at slightly lower property tax rate in fiscal 2023

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Bartlett residents could see slight decrease in property taxes even as city employees get a 4 percent raise in 2022-2023.

The Bartlett Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved on first reading Tuesday, April 26, operating and capital improvements budgets for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and an associated ordinance to decrease the property tax rate from $1.75 to $1.73 per $100 of assessed value.

That means a property owner with a home appraised at $300,000 for tax purposes will see their property tax bill decrease by $15 from $1,312.50 to $1,297.50.

Two more readings are required for the budget and tax rate to pass and a public hearing on the ordinances will be held on May 24 at 6 p.m. at City Hall before the third and final reading.

Officials said a significant increase in local option sales tax revenue this fiscal year is expected to continue next year, allowing for department budgets to increase modestly and increase pay for employees without raising property taxes.

About the lower tax rate, Mayor Keith McDonald said the city expects some resident appeals of the recent property reappraisal will be approved beyond what the budget accounts for now, but the state comptroller’s office is comfortable with Bartlett establishing the lower $1.73 tax rate for next year.

“We believe that we are financially strong and have enough other money coming in with sales tax and other areas,” he said, to hedge against more appeals coming in that might lower some property values and thus, property tax revenue coming into the budget.

Dick Phebus, finance director for the City of Bartlett, gave these highlights of the fiscal 2023 budget Tuesday night:

– a 4 percent increase in pay for all full-time employees in all city departments

– requires no money to be used from reserves in the General Fund budget

– no increase in water or sewage fees

– three new police officers and four new employees in the Parks and Recreation Department

– a 50 percent increase in health insurance premiums

– only two of seven special revenue funds used reserves to balance their budgets, but the others used no reserves or increased funding for reserves.

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