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Columbia County OKs property tax cut

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 1:27 PM
Last updated 7:24 PM
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With the benefit of savings from projects that cost less than expected, the Columbia County Commission gave final approval to a property tax rate cut Tuesday.

The half-mill cut is on the portion of tax bills that repay bond debt, Finance Director Leanne Reece said. By using $3.9 million from the 2011-16 sales tax assigned to debt payment, and adding $2.1 million from savings in construction projects, commissioners were able to trim the county’s portion of the overall rate from 9.137 to 8.637 mills, she said.

“That basically equates to a $20 reduction on a $100,000 appraised value,” Reece said.

The tax rate also takes into account 2.28 percent growth in the county’s tax digest, Reece said. Commissioners initially budgeted based on 2 percent growth.

The ability to use sales taxes to repay bond debt is relatively new and is promoted less than the fund source’s use for capital projects, Commissioner Ron Thigpen said.

“It’s another positive impact that sometimes we don’t explain enough,” he said.

The county school board met earlier in the day and approved maintaining its current tax rate.

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Willow Bailey
Willow Bailey 07/24/12 - 01:43 pm
Aww, how very nice and

Aww, how very nice and timely, of course.

David Parker
David Parker 07/24/12 - 01:53 pm
this is good. Much better

this is good. Much better than more tax and less funds. But I did the math.

The population of Columbia County = 130K in 2011. Approximately 30% are non-taxed citizens (over 65 or under 16). This leaves 90k people paying taxes that resulted in the excess funds, which are being redistributed as a "tax cut" or $20 off taxes on every $100k in value of your property.

I understand that the $6 million doesn't all get applied to lower property taxes. I'm sure there are processing costs and other miscellaneous costs here and there. Basically 6 million divided by 90k taxpayers = $66 per taxpayer. SO (punching numbers into imaginary calculator), it costs $46 dollars a head to lower their property tax by $20 bucks. I'm sure there's some algorithm involved to figure in property that is valued above $100k but I'm not familiar enough with it to apply it here. The overhead seems a little pricey though. I'd rather them just cut me a check for the $46 dollars and I'll continue to pay the additional $20-$30 dollars per year.

I'm sure i'm missing something right?

Sweet son
Sweet son 07/24/12 - 03:26 pm
County Taxes: Two Edged Sword

County taxes are cut which sounds great but what about the school board. Where are they in the taxation process? Will the small county reduction be eaten up by the board? How about a follow up on this Barry? Thanks!

Barry Paschal 07/24/12 - 09:37 pm
Read the last sentence

Sweetson: Read the last sentence: "The county school board met earlier in the day and approved maintaining its current tax rate."

clumber 07/25/12 - 07:16 pm
Property tax

The amount of dollars you will pay this year will; a. increase b. decrease c. stay the same. If you picked a, you are correct. Cut does not mean less, but meaningless.

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