A proposed 47% increase in property taxes has Greenbrier residents concerned.
The proposal comes after a much higher 78% property tax increase failed last summer.
After 16 years of calling Greenbrier home, Diane Harris and her husband Phil are considering a big change.
The city is proposing what would become the first property tax increase in 14 years, from $1.07 to $1.57 per $100 assessment value of the property. That’s a 47% increase.
“We are really giving serious thought to leaving this area just because of this,” Harris said.
Harris said for her home, that would mean paying around $700 more in taxes each year.
“The fact that we are seniors — we’re retired, we are on a fixed income,” Harris said. “This magnificent increase — it’s just going to be mind-boggling, overwhelming to many people.”
Ward 3 Alderman Chris Davis told News 2 the revenue would go towards general upgrades, like parks, replacing old patrol units for the Greenbrier Police Department and purchasing a new city fire truck.
It’s a necessary increase, Davis said, that would balance the budget, putting back about $390,000 dollars spent in the last fiscal year from the city’s savings and cash on hand.
“When they talk about balancing their budget, I think if they are at that point where that they are far out of balance, they’ve been spending wrong,” Harris said.
Harris said, while 47% is an improvement from the last proposal of a 78% increase, it’s still just too high.
“I think that if they need to do some increases, they do it in increments that are more realistic to what people’s budgets can take,” Harris said. “I’m hoping that they’ll reconsider it, table it, review it — re-evaluate their entire budget, see where they could make cuts.”
A public hearing will be held at the Greenbrier City Hall on Monday at 7 p.m.