Jackson County Times

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Friday, July 30, 2010

County Property Roll Taxable Value Declines 1.6% State has approved county’s preliminary 2010 tax roll

Sharon Cox, Jackson County Property Appraiser, submitted the preliminary 2010 tax rolls for Jackson County to the State for final approval in July. After meeting statutory requirements that tax roll is now approved. This enables all county municipalities, the county government, and the county school system to know what tax revenues to expect next year if millage rates remain unchanged.

All of these taxing authorities are currently busy working on their 2010-2011 annual budgets, and decisions on millage rate changes will be made within the next few weeks. The 2010 tax roll submitted by Sharon Cox delivers a 1.6% reduction in property values for the coming year. If millage rates remained unchanged, this gain would be realized by the tax paying citizens of the county. However, if the taxing authorities around the county raise their millage rates in order to maintain their operating revenues at previous levels, taxpayers would see no tax reductions. This valuation reduction is also accompanied by a general reduction in grant funding from state and federal agencies, thus further increasing the need for revenues from local taxes for the county, school system, and municipalities. As the monies available for governments decline, pressures for tax increases mount.

The changes in revenues and valuations are shown below:

BOCC Taxable Value

2009 Final Roll 2010 Preliminary Roll (Current)

$1,448,420,903 $1,425,500,453 -$ 22,920,450 Change (-1.6%)

Revenues at 2009 millage rates (7.1223 County +6.327 School + .045 NFWaterMgt = 13.4943 Total)

(Figures are for Jackson hospital tax district, would be + 1.546 mils for Graceville/Campbellton District)

BOCC Government $10,316,088 $10,152,842 - $163,246 Change

For Schools $10,232,523 $10,093,122 - $139,401 Change

In a discussion with Property Appraiser Sharon Cox about the new tax rolls, she stated that the declines were generally distributed over the entire county. “There was a general reduction in the base rate values per square foot for all buildings, due to the general market decline. However, since Jackson County did not experience a dramatic and sudden increase when the market was booming, we are conversely not seeing a sudden, dramatic drop now that things are falling. We are not falling off the cliff in a manner similar to what was seen in some of the beach counties,” Cox explained.

She stated that most properties in Compass Lake in the Hills were decreased, along with some subdivisions where homes have sold for decreased values. Farm land has remained fairly constant in value. Another area of value reduction was tangible properties, which is the equipment and fixtures used by businesses in their operations. “Many businesses have cut back on their operations, and are thus declaring less tangible properties this year,” Cox stated. “Another factor is the lack of new construction this year. Usually declines in values are somewhat offset by new construction being added to the tax rolls, something that did not happen this time.”

All of these budgeting processes are now underway, and the results will determine what your property tax bill will be this year.

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