County resident questions tax bill

Published 9:26 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

To the Editor:

The latest tax change is unbelievable and inequitable. The county passed a balanced budget that went into effect July 1. Then around the first of August, citizens received their tax bills. Farm land may have had a re-assessment increase. On top of that, the deduction for land use was reduced considerably, resulting in a large tax increase. This is a major problem for senior citizens and those on fixed incomes.  How are they going to pay their taxes? Small farms owned by senior citizens may not generate enough income to pay the taxes. The increase will bring in about $500,000. What is the purpose of this tax increase? What will the money be used for?

I hope you will get an explanation from the supervisors. The only explanation I received is that they have the right to do it and there is nothing the citizens can do about it. What is also confusing is that no one has explained the need for such funds. At the very least, a letter of explanation should have been included with the bills.

I am going to give you three examples from our tax bills. On the first property, the county appraiser as well as the board of equalization left the value unchanged from last year. The county rate remains the same at 85 cents. However, the total tax bill went up 72 percent from last year. On the second property, the assessment and the tax rate remain the same, but the total tax bill went up 143 percent. On the third property, same situation, but the tax bill went up 90 percent. It is my understanding that the land use rate should have been the same for all qualified agricultural properties.

I urge you to attend the Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m. If you cannot attend, contact the supervisors personally. If you haven’t opened your tax bills, you’re in for a big surprise.

Glenn Updike