At a meeting Tuesday night, the Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen elected at-large Alderman Clyde Barnhill to replace at-large alderman Brandy Blanton as vice mayor.
The vice mayor fills in for the mayor in the case of the mayor’s absence from a meeting.
Beverly Burger (Ward 1) nominated at-large Alderman Gabrielle Hanson, Blanton nominated Barnhill, and Matt Brown (Ward 2) nominated at-large Alderman Ann Peterson for the position.
Hanson received two votes, Peterson received two, and Barnhill received four thanks to Jason Potts (Ward 3) and Patrick Baggett (Ward 4).
“The city of Franklin is facing now a lot of issues, and there’s many things coming before the board,” Barnhill said. “I was very appreciative of the board electing me to vice mayor. There’s a lot going on and a lot we will have to cover, and I’m thankful for the support from fellow board members.”
Historical properties tax classification
During Tuesday afternoon's work session, the board discussed a resolution that would support state legislation to create a tax classification bracket for certain commercial and residential historic properties. The resolution states that local ownership of many historic properties across the state has become less viable due to urbanization, development and migration to the state, raising property value.
“What brings people to Franklin … is the character of our downtown, which is primarily and traditionally made up of local merchants that you can’t find at the mall and can’t find in any other city in America,” Baggett said. “What has happened with the 200% to 300% increase in property taxes is we have some examples where that’s $40,000 or $50,000 a year being passed on to tenants who, as you know, if you know our retail and the goods and wares that they sell, that’s a lot of those goods and wares.”
According to the resolution, its purpose is “to create mechanisms within the taxation system to allow county government to offer relief to owners of historic properties so that historic properties may continue to thrive.”
It also urges state legislators to create a provision for local governments to opt-in to the historic properties classification.
Properties would be considered eligible based on location, construction, age and importance to historical events.
The resolution goes on to read that reducing the tax assessment value for properties that meet the criteria is “a valid public purpose that will result in benefit to local communities across the state.”