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Elk Ridge approves property-tax hike

ELK RIDGE — Property taxes are going up in this hillside community, but just 12 people showed up at Tuesday's Elk Ridge City Council meeting to discuss it.

The new tax rate approved by the City Council will add an average of $40 a year to residents' property-tax burdens and generate an additional $26,000 a year for the city.

With the tax increase, retroactive to July 1, the city will collect about $260,000 from property taxes.

The property-tax increase passed by a 3-2 vote, with councilmen Sean Roylance and Derrick Johnson dissenting.

Roylance said a disputed $600,000 bond the city has been sitting on should go back to the bank that issued it, even though the city would pay a penalty of more than $9,000, according to his research. That would save more than $50,000 a year in interest and blunt the need for a tax hike, he said.

However, Councilman Ray Brown wants to use the money to build a new public-works building to house the city's trucks and other equipment, rather than share fire-department space.

— Rodger L. Hardy