Public Hearing On Tax Rates Aug. 31 At 10 A.M.
The Mercer County Fiscal Court approved new tax rates at their meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 10.
First, the magistrates set the real property tax rate for 2021-2022 fiscal year, choosing the 13.0 four-percent increase over the compensating rate of 12.5 compensating rate.
Tax rates are calculated by the Department of Local Government.
“This is all done by formula,” explained Judge-Executive Milward Dedman.
Dedman said the four-percent increase can be deceiving.
“Four-percent doesn’t tell the whole story,” Dedman said. “It’s not a four-percent increase on the tax rate, it’s an increase on what the county takes in.”He
Judge Dedman said the new tax rate would generate $73,000 in additional revenue for the county and increase the average tax bill by approximately three dollars.
Magistrate Jackie Claycomb moved to set the new tax rate. Magistrate Wayne Jackson seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
“I’m against tax increases anytime,” said Magistrate Tim Darland. “I have to pay it too.”
But Darland said tax revenues are down while costs—including fuel, labor and health care—are up. He voted for the increase while noting that at least three more court security officers are needed at the Mercer County Judicial Center.
According to Mercer Sheriff Ernie Kelty, if all three courts are running, they have to have at least 10 bailiffs on duty.
The fiscal court also set personal property tax rate at 19.17. Again the magistrates chose the four-percent increase over the 18.43 compensating rate.
Magistrate Donnie Webb moved to accept the new tax rate, with a second from Magistrate Wayne Jackson. The motion passed unanimously.
Finally, the fiscal court set the motor vehicle and watercraft tax rates for 2021-2022 fiscal year at 9.20. That rate is set by the state and it hasn’t changed in 20 years, Judge Dedman said. It passed unanimously.
Under state law, a public hearing will be held on the new tax rates at the next fiscal court meeting, which will be Tuesday, Aug. 31, at 10 a.m.