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Mercer County Fiscal Court Approves New Tax Rates

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

The Mercer County Fiscal Court approved new tax rates for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

On Tuesday morning, the magistrates agreed to raise the real property tax rates from $12.20 per $100 in assessed value to $12.40. That is the compensating rate, which is calculated to produce the same revenue as the year before. According to state law, local governments that want to levy a rate exceeding the compensating tax rate must hold a public hearing.

Magistrate Wayne Jackson moved to take the compensating rate, and the motion passed, with only Magistrate Tim Darland voting against it.

The fiscal court also voted unanimously to accept the compensating rate of $16.08 per $100 in assessed value for personal property. The motor vehicle and watercraft tax rates, which are set by the state, remain unchanged at $9.20 per $100 in assessed value.

Terry Dunne, a self-appointed advocate for local taxpayers, objected. Dunne said property assessments for the county were up $8-million over the year before. Dunne asked a state representative to be invited to fiscal court to explain how tax rates are generated.

Mercer County Property Valuation Administrator Jessica Elliott cautioned that the numbers Dunne had quoted were preliminary, and do not include deletions and additions, nor does it include tangibles.

Every year, the PVA office assesses one district in Mercer County. This year, they assessed the lake district. Elliott said the area along Herrington Lake is up five-percent over the year before. But the numbers Dunne quoted do not include deletions, such as properties that have been removed from the tax rolls, including real estate purchased by schools and churches.

“We’ve lost a lot from Campbellsville in assessments,” Elliott said.

She said her office will not receive final figures from the state until the end of the month.

The next meeting of the Mercer County Fiscal Court will be on Tuesday, Aug. 27, at 10 a.m.

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