On Sept. 9, county commissioners approved a FY 2014–15 property tax rate of $0.486529 per $100 of assessed valuation.
The new rate is a slight decrease from the FY 2013–14 total property tax rate of $0.489029, but is about 8 percent higher than the effective tax rate of $0.452794—the rate necessary to levy the same revenue from existing property that the previous year's rate levied.
As part of the total property tax rate, the FY 2013–14 rates of $0.1675 for debt service and $0.04 for roads and bridges will stay the same in FY 2014–15. The total tax rate also includes a maintenance and operations, or M&O, tax rate of $0.279029.
Though the votes were unanimous, Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long and County Judge Dan Gattis said they wished the court had approved an M&O rate $0.0025 lower than the proposed rate. But Long's motion for a lower M&O rate of $0.276529 died for lack of a second.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey said because of increasing property values, the average resident with a home value of $207,559 would pay more with either rate. However, the county can use revenue from the slightly higher M&O rate to help pay down debt, Covey said.
On Aug. 26 commissioners approved the county's FY 2014–15 budget that projects spending of about $146.78 million for the general fund, or county operating expenses, $22.32 million for roads and bridges, and $74.56 million for debt services.
This story was updated for clarity Sept. 12 at 4:30 p.m. CDT.