The Jackson County Board of Commissioners approved a slight increase to the proposed 2013 property tax rate Monday night, although final action won’t be taken until early October.
County manager Kevin Poe proposed leaving the millage rate at 8.61 for unincorporated areas and 9.87 mills for incorporated areas, but chairman Tom Crow made a motion for a quarter-mill increase. Commissioners Dwain Smith, Chas Hardy and Jim Hix voted in favor of the proposed increase. Commissioner Bruce Yates was not at the meeting.
With a .25-mill increase, the unincorporated rate will rise to 8.860 and the incorporated rate will rise to 10.120.
“If we don’t do something, we are kicking the can down the road and leaving it for someone else to worry about,” Crow said. I would like to see just a one quarter of a mill increase. This is not something we need to leave to someone else to take care of.”
Commissioner Chas Hardy added, “I agree with your suggestion. We owe it to this community to continue to offer the level of service that we have been offering over the past couple of years… We took this on. We have to make the hard decisions.”
The proposed total budget of $63.6 million, which includes the general fund and special funds, calls for taking $1.45 million from the reserve fund, leaving just a little over $2.69 million in the fund, which is lower than what is recommended for governments. This is the fourth year that use of prior years’ reserves has been budgeted. In 2010, the reserve fund was $7.6 million.
For the full story, see the Sept. 18 issue of The Commerce News.