The Jackson County tax digest is expected to drop five percent or more this fall. With over 700 property tax appeals still pending, preliminary numbers show the net county tax digest will fall from $2.43 billion in 2009 to $2.30 billion.
County officials say that translates to a $1.4 million loss in tax revenue to the county government. The tax digest is the basis for all property taxes.
The drop reflects the real estate bust. It is the first time in decades that the county has seen a decline in property values from the previous year.
Being hit even harder is the Jackson County School System tax digest, which is expected to drop 6.2 percent or more. That digest excludes the cities of Jefferson and Commerce, which have independent school districts.
In Commerce, city manager Clarence Bryant said that the digest is expected to fall by 1.8 percent, which will also be reflected in the city’s school tax digest.
The unincorporated areas saw the largest decline in values. Property outside the county’s nine towns fell 7.5 percent overall, much higher than the overall incorporated decline of 3.2 percent.
With more than 700 appeals to be heard, it is likely that the tax digest will be further eroded.