debt free

Some good news for Tipton County property owners should be coming over the next two months.

County Executive Jeff Huffman said he will present a resolution to the Tipton County Commission on June 10 that proposes to pay off all of the county’s debt, which is about $9.7 million.

It’s a plan he has been talking about since early in 2018 that appears to be coming to fruition and he believes will be passed by the commissioners.

“I think everyone is on board with it,” Huffman said Wednesday afternoon.

The plan is pay off everything in 45 to 60 days and also lower the property tax rate from $2.42 to $2.36. Huffman said he doesn’t think the county property tax rate has decreased over the last 60 years.

“When we get all this paid off it doesn’t make sense not to give back to the tax payers,” Huffman said.

McMinn County is believed to be the only county in Tennessee that is debt-free.

“Tipton County is actually prepared to pay the debt off now, but we must give a certain amount of notice to bondholders before we can pay the bonds off.  For variable rate bonds the notice time is about 15 days.  For fixed-rate bondholders the notice is 45 to 60 days.”

The commission’s finance committee has already met several times to work on the 2019-20 budget and will be meeting more in the coming days. The property tax rate and overall budget are typically approved in July, and that’s the goal again this year.

Huffman is also recommending a three percent raise for county employees in next year’s budget as well as increased funding for law enforcement, rural fire protection and animal control

“Of course, I can only make a recommendation to the county commission,” Huffman said. “It is up to the commission to pass an appropriations resolution and a tax rate resolution for the upcoming fiscal year.”

Jeff Ireland is The Leader's sports editor. To contact him, call 901-476-7116 or email jireland@covingtonleader.com.​

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