City landowners pay more taxes as tax rate declines

The property tax rate in the City of Elizabethton has declined due to property reappraisal but some of the 62,000 property owners have been paying more taxes.
   Increased land and building values are reflected in reappraisals conducted by the Carter County Tax Assessor every five years.
   After each appraisal, the Office of State Comptroller sets the "certified tax rate" to generate the same amount of money as the previous year.
   In turn, Elizabethton City Council and the Carter County Commission adopt separate tax rates for city and county property owners.
   The last property tax hike in the City of Elizabethton occurred in 1992 when property taxes went from $3.17 to $3.22 per $100 assessed value.
   In the year 2000, the city property tax rate was $2.61. After reappraisal, the rate dropped to $2.30 per $100 assessed value.
   Presently, Elizabethton does not collect a natural gas franchise fee, residential garbage collection fee or receive proceeds from liquor by the drink, like some neighboring cities.
   City Manager Charles Stahl said he tries to operate the city of Elizabethton within the existing revenue base.