By RACHAEL LONG
For 28 years, the City of Brentwood has managed to secure its effective property tax rate.
On Tuesday night, City Commissioners voted to continue maintaining that rate for a 29th year.
The proposed tax rate is $0.36 per $100 of assessed value of taxable property. Brentwood’s city charter requires the City Commission to establish an annual tax levy to fund appropriations for the General Fund budget in each new fiscal year. This year’s tax rate, when adopted, will be in effect from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020.
City Manager Kirk Bednar explained Tuesday that even though Brentwood’s numeric tax rate changes each time the city’s property assessment is re-evaluated, its effective tax rate has stayed the same.
“By law, we are not allowed to just generate additional property tax revenue by virtue of property values going up,” Bednar said. “So every time there’s a re-evaluation — which is about every five or six years — the property assessor will give us a new effective tax rate … if property values go up, then the tax rate goes down so that the net effect is the same amount of revenue we would have generated before.”
Bednar said the city has seen its numeric tax rate decrease consistently over the years. As such, Brentwood has managed to maintain the same effective tax rate which is intended to generate the same amount of revenue before and after property valuations, Bednar said.
City Commissioner Nelson Andrews further clarified the difference between the tax rate and the tax base, which he said can cause some confusion among residents. The tax base is the amount to which a tax rate will be applied.
“The budget does anticipate a growth in property tax revenue, but that’s essentially the same tax rate being applied to new valuation adding to the rolls through development,” Bednar said.
All commissioners voted to approve the ordinance on first reading, with the exception of Commissioner Susannah MacMillan who was absent Tuesday night.
Before it can be adopted, the ordinance must go through the process of two more public hearings and pass a final reading.
A public hearing for the tax rate was held at the start of Tuesday night’s City Commission meeting. No residents were present to speak during the hearing.
The next hearings for the tax rate will take place on Monday, June 10 and Tuesday, June 25 at City Hall, located at 5211 Maryland Way in Brentwood.
For more information on the city’s proposed tax rate or other business, contact Brentwood City Hall at 615-371-0060.