UPDATE: Mayor Berke proposes property tax freeze for senior citizens
Mayor Andy Berke is proposing a property tax freeze for senior citizens as part of the 2018 budget he'll present to the Chattanooga City Council.
Mayor Andy Berke will present the proposed budget for 2018 to the Chattanooga City Council Tuesday night.
For the first time, the proposal includes a property tax freeze for senior citizens.
The state voted 10 years ago to give cities and counties the power to implement a tax freeze for senior citizens.
Mayor Berke says the time is finally right because of rising expenses these residents face each day.
A crowd gathered Tuesday morning at Eastgate Senior Center to hear about Mayor Berke’s plan.
"We want to see people's lives get better and we know that staying in a home is often a big thing for seniors, living in a place in which they are comfortable. I'm really excited about what the senior citizen tax freeze is going to do for our city,” said Mayor Berke.
The tax freeze would help low to moderate income elderly residents. They must be 65 or older and their household income cannot exceed $38,720. Mayor Berke says the city doesn’t have an exact number of how many people could be impacted but 15% of Chattanooga’s population are seniors.
As long as the property owner qualifies for the program, their property taxes would not change even if there is a tax increase.
The Chattanooga City Council is scheduled to make a final vote in September.
Here is Mayor Berke's proposed budget for 2018: