Everyone should be receiving their 2021 reappraisal information in the mail soon if not already. As you’ll note in the packet in the graphic below, growth has not slowed down, even through the pandemic Here are two graphics with heat maps that compare the 2013-2017 growth vs the 2017-2021 along with very important information about the reappraisal process, which is mandated by State law.
As you’re probably aware, the State mandates the reappraisal process to be revenue neutral, so as the values go up, the tax rate must come down. That also means that if you’re above the average countywide reappraisal rate, the impact to your property taxes is that they usually go up. If you’re below the median increase, they generally go down. Check out our tax rate compared to Tennessee’s four biggest cities. You’ll note the impact of the reappraisals over the years.
A lot people were understandably upset at the 34% tax increase last year. It couldn’t have come at a worse time due to pandemic and economic shutdown. Among the financial issues we have, the biggest one is that we haven’t managed the tax rate well. If you’ll note on the 25-year tax graph, historically after the appraisal occurs and affects the tax rate to go down, the Mayor and Council will nudge it up nice and easy in the years afterwards to account for growth. That didn’t happen in 2017 and we were left with an unsustainably low rate. We hadn’t nudged the rate up since 2012 and should have done that so we wouldn’t have been looking at such a stark increase last year (which was still 30 cents cheaper than it was in 2017). So, here we are again with an appraisal that shows rapid property value increases, which means the rate will drop back down to historic lows. Yes, we have issues with overspending and too high of debt, but our overall financial outlook is strong if we can keep our hands tight on the reigns of the tax rate. We’re still operating with fewer Metro employees than we had in 2003. We have a lot of work to do to manage growth and ensure it is benefiting everyone. When you add the impact of the pandemic and the economic shutdown, the trillions of dollars that has come from the federal government assistance to states, cities and local municipalities, we have to be laser focused on stable fiscal management, which means budgeting thinking about the long term and not using federal government assistance to balance our budget. That would be dangerous as those funds will not be here forever and we need to focus on those funds supporting schools, small business, out of work neighbors and other critical areas so we can get through the pandemic’s impact. We will get through this together.
The Hip Donelson Community Farmer’s Market returns for the 10th season at Two Rivers Mansion on Friday, May 7th at 4pm. This is a treasure of an event for the community and hope you will make plans to support it every Friday through October.
The Donelson Gateway Project needs your help for the annual spring cleanup. “Many hands make light work”. Meet at the Briley Pkwy / Lebanon Pk site on Saturday, May 8th at 10am. We can disperse to other sites as needed. Thank you for your support of keeping Donelson beautiful!
The Buchanan Family Festival Fish Fry & Flea Market will be May 15th at 11am. See flyer below for details.
The annual Phil the House with Arts and Friends at Two Rivers Mansion will be on Sunday, May 16th from 1-4pm and will feature the photography of local resident and Friends member Doug Almy.
I’m now fully vaccinated and encourage everyone to do the same so we can get back to opening the city back up 100%, all our kids back in school and put this pandemic behind us. All COVID19 related info, including how to sign up for vaccine appointments can be found here.
Finally, I will be sending out another newsletter about two rezoning meetings coming up (one for a single family home development at 2600 Pennington Bend Rd and the other for condo developments at 2842 and 2850 Lebanon Pike) plus an exciting community event on Saturday, May 22nd. So, stay tuned to another newsletter on the heels of this one once I firm up dates and details.