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New City Budget Passes Unanimously, No Property Tax Increase

Posted 06-28-18.

The City of Sevierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen have unanimously passed the FY 2019 budget, which begins July 1, 2018. Numerous public meetings and workshops were held to discuss the budget and included many comments from residents. Much of the discussion concerned the need to address upcoming debt payments pertaining to Tourist Development Zone bonds. These bonds were issued to pay for significant infrastructure improvements for the purpose of increasing tourist related revenue. Infrastructure improvements include the Convention Center, Golf Course, Downtown Parking Lot, improvements to Old Knoxville Highway, and others.

The Board and City staff worked together and received tremendous public input on how to meet this challenge without decreasing City services. The FY 2019 budget maintains all City services, maintains the current property tax rate, and sets a framework for addressing the TDZ debt now and in the future.

In the FY 2019 budget, several steps have been taken to provide additional revenue to meet TDZ bond payments. In addition to budget cuts, the FY 2019 City budget includes an increase in the Lodging Tax from 2% to 3%. No other taxes were increased or implemented, including the property tax which remains unchanged. There are increases in some Parks and Recreation fees, garbage collection fees and new fees for Fire Department inspection services. These changes are outlined below.

Some Parks and Recreation fees have been increased effective July 1 for non-City residents. These increases are between 6% - 8%. The only fee increase for City residents will be for the children's programs, which will begin in the fall. City residents will now be required to present proof of City residency to receive the City resident rate. Detailed information on the fees effective July 1 is available at www.seviervilletn.org on the Parks and Recreation home page.

Residential and commercial garbage collection fees will increase effective July 1. Residential curbside collection will increase from $10/month to $15/month per container. Commercial curbside collection will increase from $20/month to $25/month per container. The new fees will better reflect the actual cost of providing these services.

Fire Department fees for false alarm calls and CPR classes remain unchanged. There are a number of new fees that will take effect July 1. The new fees are for fire inspections, operational permits and construction permits pertaining to commercial structures or non-residential buildings where people gather. Detailed information on the fees effective July 1 is available at www.seviervilletn.org on the Fire Department homepage documents section.