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News General

Revaluation and tax increases a game changer.

The town of Franklin approved its 2015-16 budget Monday, which includes a one percent tax increase for town residents. In addition to the tax increase, the town of Franklin also approved a 5 percent water and sewer rate increase, and pending county approval, potentially approved a 9/10 of a cent fire tax increase for homes within the service area of Franklin Fire & Rescue. Those increases, paired with an increase on the county end in order to maintain a revenue neutral budget in the coming fiscal year, may cause some sticker shock for town residents.

Town of Franklin one cent tax increase

On the town level, a homeowner with an assessed property value of $75,000 will go from paying $202.50 in 2014 with a tax rate of .27, to paying $210 in 2015 with the tax rate of .28, an increase of $7.50.

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Macon County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a 911 call shortly after 5:30 a.m. Thursday, June 4, involving a gun shot fired near South Macon Elementary School this morning. Deputies responding to the call and found two armed suspects on the school’s campus. One of the suspects pulled a gun on the deputy, at which point the suspect was tased. The second suspect was also tased.

The suspects were identified as Adam Warren Conley, 38, and Kathryn Jetter, 29, both of Franklin. Both suspects were arrested and transported to the Macon County Detention Center.

Both Jetter and Conley, who according to Sheriff Robert Holland, are well known by law enforcement officers, are currently awaiting interviews at the detention center and have not yet been charged.

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With an ordinance as the only roadblock, Jeff Wang, owner of Jeff’s Ammo & Arms, petitioned to the town Monday night to consider a formal request to construct and operate an indoor shooting range at 245 Carolina Mountain Drive.

According to town attorney John Henning Jr., Franklin has an ordinance that would prevent such a business from operating. According to the ordinance, it is unlawful to shoot a gun inside the city limits. Although Franklin’s ordinance resembles other ordinances from across the state, Franklin’s does not have an exception for commercial use, like at a shooting range, as some municipalities have.

“There is the problem that it is unlawful to discharge a firearm in the city limits of Franklin unless you're an officer of the law,” said Henning.

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Building the county’s financial stability while facing uncertain legislative challenges seems to be the common theme throughout the 2015-16 budget planning process. County Manager Derek Roland presented commissioners with a $46.6 million budget last Thursday night, and in a two and a half hour work session on Tuesday, commissioners hashed out the details.

The budget was proposed at $46,646,357, with balanced revenues and expenditures. The proposed budget, while less than the 2013-14 levels, exhibits an increase over the current fiscal year.

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