MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) – The ripple effect of Nashville’s booming market has hit Murfreesboro where city council members approved a 34-cent property tax hike on Thursday.
City leaders said it’s necessary to keep up with growth. They haven’t considered a property tax increase like this in two decades.
Murfreesboro homeowners will be getting their property tax bills toward the end of the year or sometime early next year. They’ll notice a big increase from last year of around 35%.
"It means I’ll probably move to a different county," Derek Bennett, a Murfreesboro resident said.
Bennett plans on buying a house soon, but the tax hike might drive him away. He enjoys living in Murfreesboro.
"I’ve had three children graduate from this school system. Looking forward to this little one starting school," Bennett said.
For the average homeowner, the mayor said their bill will go up a couple hundred dollars.
"It’s unsustainable for us to be able to provide the services that the city provides and be able to keep it at that low of a level," Mayor Shane McFarland said.
He said the property tax hike will help fund schools, roads, and first responder agencies in a growing city. Some homeowners believe that could’ve been accomplished differently.
"All of the things that they keep saying make Murfreesboro attractive to newcomers are also going to stop some newcomers from coming," Glenda Topping, a Murfreesboro homeowner said.
Topping who has lived in the area for almost four decades said she might also consider moving.
"They are not as prudent with the money as they could be and I think that is what people are up in arms about really. They just want to see people careful with their money," Topping said.
The mayor told News4 he wants to expand the property tax freeze program they have for senior citizens on a fixed income. Right now, it’s capped at a certain income, but said if you’ve lived in your house for several years, that should also apply.