by Frank Williford
A public hearing on county tax increase is scheduled for September 15, 2010. This will be the first of two hearings as required by state statue.
It seems clear the County Commissioners are considering a substantial tax increase. I started to wonder why? Have the Commissioners not heard how tough economic conditions presently are and how we are all going to be hit with large additional tax increases as a result of congressional activity in Washington?
The average home value in the county increased by more than one percent in the past year. The State Comptroller’s Office website has this to say about the effective tax rate imposed by counties. “The effective tax rate should be kept at about the same level as the prior year. If property values increase, then the tax rate should decrease. If property values decrease, then the tax rate should increase.” This seems easy enough to understand. I started to wonder why, then, the County Commissioners would be considering a tax increase on the average home of from 3.36 percent to 9.31 percent in dollar terms. After all dollars are what matter no matter how the planned increase is presented.