County lowers tax rate, raises tax revenue
The Young County Commissioners Court adopted a tax rate of $0.720759 per $100 valuation, which will produce $117,077 more in tax revenue for the county, during their meeting Monday, Sept. 9.
The tax rate is lower than last year’s rate of $0.758613 by $0.037854. The commissioners originally proposed a rate of $0.772500 per $100 assessed on Aug. 12. This was below the rollback rate of $0.772584, The effective rate, or the rate needed to produce a similar amount of tax revenue, was set at $0.714957.
“That (proposed) rate is set that way because it is just under the rollback rate, so it is to assure the voters we will not be in a rollback situation,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Sipes said in a previous meeting. “However, we have got to propose a tax rate prior to our completion of our budget. So we have no idea exactly, until we go through that budget process, what the tax rate will be. We need to make sure and propose a rate above what it actually will be.”
The commissioners lowered the rate even further from the rate of $0.738131, which was supposed to be voted on, according to the agenda. The reason for the decrease was because the county switched from calculating based off the certified tax value to instead using net taxable value. This change made each cent of a tax raise $2,406 more than if calculating based off the certified tax roll.
Young County Judge John Bullock said the effective and rollback rate are calculated by the Young Central Appraisal District using the net taxable values and the county used to base their budget off the net taxable values as early as three years ago.
The change was recommended by their tax expert, Debby Wheeler from Perdue, Brandon, Fielder, Collins and Mott, and YCAD’s appraiser Luke Robbins.
This change did have some of the commissioners’ worried about if SB 2, which lowers the rollback rate to 3.5% above the effective rate, would hinder the county if they needed to raise taxes next year. Bullock said they could not penalize taxpayers for what the state legislature enacted and if they need to get creative with next year’s budget they will do so next year.
“We worked hard on this budget, both on the revenue and expense side, to keep it as manageable, as correct and as light on our taxpayers as possible,” Sipes said. “If using this calculation method makes the tax rate what it is, those numbers work out for themselves once you have set your expenses and your revenues.”
The rate of $0.720759 per $100 valuation was figured with $0.076514 needed for debt service and $0.644225 needed for maintenance and operations. The debt rate is used to pay off a bond on the Young County Law Enforcement Center and Jail which Bullock said should be paid off in the next three years.
The county’s budget revenues and expenditures was slated to rise from $12,685,463 last year to $13,676,717 this year, according to Bullock. Part of the reason for the perceived large increase is because special funds, which balance out on expenditures and revenues, are being added to the budget for transparency.
The amount of tax dollars raised rises to $7,042,386, or about $117,000 more than last year. The total tax base raised nearly $36 million from the previous year.
For the rest of the story, see the Wednesday, Sept. 11 edition of The Graham Leader.