County takes comp rate on taxes

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By Calen McKinney

Though some of the County's tax rates are increasing and others are decreasing, revenue is expected to remain the same.

In the past, Taylor County Fiscal Court has each year approved a "compensating" tax rate, which means that the new tax rate is expected to bring in about the same amount of money as the previous year's rate.

Magistrates agreed to do the same this year at Tuesday night's regular Fiscal Court meeting. The compensating rate does not require a public hearing.

According to Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers, the Court could have set a rate that would have increased revenue by 4 percent or more.

A 4 percent increase is subject to a public hearing, however, but not subject to voter recall. The rate would have to be advertised.

The Court could also have set a tax rate that would generate more than the 4 percent increase, though it would have been subject to voter approval.

Each County taxing district sets its own rates, subject to approval from Taylor Fiscal Court. The new rates, per $100 of property value, as approved by magistrates on Tuesday are:

- County - 7.0 cents for real property and 12.0 cents for personal property. The rate decreased from 7.3 cents for real property and increased from 11.98 cents for personal property.

- County schools - 41.2 cents for real property, 43.8 cents for personal property; decreasing from 41.8 for real property and 44.6 for personal property.

- Health - 4.0 cents for real and personal property, remaining the same as last year's rates.

- Hospital - 7.0 cents for real property and 9.1 cents for personal property, decreasing slightly from 7.1 cents for real property and staying the same at 9.1 for personal property.

- Library - 3.7 cents for real property, 5.99 for personal property; increasing from 3.5 cents for real property and 5.31 for personal property.

- Cooperative Extension - 2.07 cents for real property, 3.51 cents for personal property, increasing from 1.97 cents for real property and 3.13 cents for personal property.

The library and extension districts each approved a 4 percent increase.

The motor vehicle tax rate remains the same as last year's rate at 9.1 cents.

Magistrates approved the rates unanimously.

Also at the meeting:

- Magistrates approved a request from the Taylor County Sheriff's Department to pay for $4,032 in postage to mail tax bills to Taylor County residents.

Tax bills will be printed on postcards this year, according to Office Manager Martha Cox, which will cost 27 cents to mail instead of the 42 cents it cost for past mailings.

Cox said the change will save more than $2,000.

The new postcards, she said, will also allow residents to better read their bills and save the sheriff's department time in printing them and applying postage. She said the office has had numerous calls from residents asking how much their taxes are because they can't read their bills.

Cox said the sheriff's department will also accept credit cards this year as payment for taxes.

On Wednesday, Cox said the sheriff's department asks that residents age 65 and older go to the Taylor County PVA office and sign up for the homestead tax rate. She said this will save time for the sheriff's department and money for residents.

Magistrates approved the request to pay the postage unanimously.

- Staff Writer Calen McKinney can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 235 or by e-mail at reporter@cknj.com. Comment on this story at www.cknj.com.