Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell briefed local business leaders about the state of the county during a meeting at the Blount Partnership offices on Friday.
“I appreciate this opportunity to present an overall update of the state of the county,” he said. “This allows me to present to the citizens a comprehensive overview of the direction I see our county moving towards. We have so many great things that have been happening and that will continue to happen in Blount County.”
According to Mitchell, unemployment in Blount County has dropped to 4.85 percent from 6.5 percent in 2013.
“Blount County economy is second to none,” Blount Partnership CEO and President Bryan Daniels said. “You can see Blount County’s strong growth pattern in the mayor’s presentation. We have seen this through the strong job announcements, over $500 million and 2,500 new jobs that are paying above our county’s average wages, during the past five years, and there are several more large announcements that are only weeks away.”
Mitchell also reviewed the county’s tax structure. In June, the Blount County Commission set the property tax at $2.47 per $100 of assessed value in the 2015-16 fiscal year budget. This breaks down to 88 cents for general county, 48 cents for debt service, 4 cents for educational capital projects, and $1.07 for schools.
The commission also approved a $5.6 million Highway Department budget, a $85.6 million general purpose school fund budget and a $17.8 million debt service budget.