Springfield Residents See First Tax Increase In Years

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Photo: Video by NewsChannel5.com

Springfield Residents See First Tax Increase In Years

CREATED May 23, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. – City leaders in Springfield have announced the town’s first tax increase in more than two decades.

Officials with the City of Springfield said the city can no longer function without the increase. So far, residents have not been too happy with the announcement.

For 12 years, Mary Francies has lived in her Springfield home and during that time, she can only remember her property taxes increasing once.

So when this widow on a fixed income heard the Springfield city manager proposed a 22 cent property tax hike she, like many people, was not excited.

"Nobody wants to pay additional taxes,” she said.

Francies said an increase is never welcomed - whether you're buying gas, groceries or paying taxes. More hikes have also been proposed with both city water and sewer bills.

Paul Nutting, City Manager for Springfield, said for 23 years the city of Springfield functioned without a property tax hike. It was a move great for city residents then but now, current residents are paying the price.

"Let me give you a real interesting fact that people don't realize. Our property taxes are so low that we can't even pay the operation of the police, the total operation one largest department, on the property taxes we collect,” said Nutting.

Right now, the $1.03 property tax has brought in $3.6 million in tax revenue. Running the Springfield Police Department alone, costs $4 million.

Nutting also said both the water and sewer departments rarely imposed increases, so now with a deteriorating sewer line and EPA enforced improvements, there was no way around these increases.

With the increase, someone owning a $100,000 home would go from paying $257 a year to $300 a year in taxes.

Nutting said since his proposal, he sees the property tax hike only totaling 17 cents.