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No property tax rise in East Ridge budget, for now

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EAST RIDGE, TN. (Times Free Press) -- East Ridge's city manager says next year's budget will not include a property tax hike, but that could change as the city seeks to cope with the fallout from Tennessee American Water's decision to cancel its 60-year practice of providing sewer billing services.

In a 15 minute briefing during the East Ridge City Council's Thursday agenda session, City Manager Tim Gobble briefly outlined the main adjustments to the $16 million budget, which projects a $70,000 to $90,000 surplus.

Though Gobble said a property tax is not necessary up front, city officials say they may need to adjust their sanitation fee to deal with the canceled billing services -- an obstacle most local governments are facing after Tennessee American's decision. The city could stand to lose $216,000 in revenue from the cancellation, Gobble said.

"I think we ought to raise the taxes and completely do away with the sanitation fee," Councilman Darwin Branam suggested during the work session. "Those are the kinds of decisions that are really going to affect the budget."

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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