A property tax increase is officially on the books for Carter County residents.

After hours spent voting down various tax rate proposals, Carter County commissioners approved an 18 cent tax increase; bringing the rate to $2.33 per $100 of assessed value.

The tax hike comes as the county budget for this fiscal year faces a $2.5 million deficit. "Nobody wants to vote for a large tax increase, but we're going to have to have some money to run the county," Tom Bowers, Carter County Commission Chairman, said during a meeting recess.

We're told the tax hike goes into effect immediately.

Commissioners said the increase is seven cents less than what the Carter County budget committee originally recommended to the commission.