The Maury County Commission took the first steps last week toward a proposed 31-cent property tax increase, voting to set a public hearing before a final vote later this month.

At a special called meeting on June 13, commissioners voted 15-2 to approve a resolution announcing the intention to increase the county's property tax rate from the certified tax rate set by the state. If approved on June 30, the property tax rate would go from $1.6044 to $1.91.

The proposed property tax hike comes after the Budget Committee voted to recommend an increase at its May 24 meeting. The increase would be used to fund school debt and help the general fund become more balanced.

Earlier this year, Maury County underwent a property re-evaluation, with almost all properties seeing an increase in value. As a result, the certified tax rate dropped. Counties may exceed the certified tax rate if they wish but must go through specific steps prior to a vote.

In April, the Maury County Board of Education put forward a nearly $160 million plan, which includes the construction of three new schools, renovations on all athletic facilities and the renovation of the current Spring Hill High School facility.

During the June 13 meeting, District 5 Commissioner and Budget Chairman Scott Sumners proposed cutting expenses in the county's operational funds to lower the tax increase, but the motion failed to pass. Sumners has previously voiced his concerns over raising property taxes and the potential effects it may have on Maury County taxpayers.

“I have a hard time with this based on the current state of our nation’s food and gas prices,” he said at the meeting. “I think we can do more to cut the general fund’s spending this year to help balance out the general funds.”

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