Library Reduces Tax Rate; Conservation District Millage Tax Remains The Same
The Mercer County Fiscal Court gave final approval to new county tax rates at their meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 31. They also heard about the tax rates set by the Mercer County Public Library and the Mercer County Conservation District.
After no one spoke during a legally mandated public hearing, the magistrates voted unanimously to 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. They also voted unanimously to approve a personal property tax rate of 19.17. Again the magistrates chose the four-percent increase over the 18.43 compensating rate. 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, according to Judge-Executive Milward Dedman said.
Tax rates are calculated by the Department of Local Government. Dedman said the four-percent increase can be deceiving.
“It’s not a four-percent increase on the tax rate, it’s an increase on what the county takes in,” he said. 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.
The fiscal court was also apprised of the tax rates set by two of the county’s taxing districts.
Library Director Robin Ison said the library’s board of directors had elected to reduce the rates for real and personal property to 7.6 percent, which is a two-tenths of a percent reduction.
Ison said the library has been reducing their tax rate for the last five years. She also gave the magistrates an update on how the library has fared over the past year.
“It hasn’t been super, super bad at the library,” said Ison, who said the library had 15,000 visitors this past year, down from 69,000 visitors the year before. She said the library had 2,100 computer users in 2020, down from 10,000 computer users at the library during a regular year.
“We kept the library going,” Ison said.
The Mercer County Conservation District chose to keep their tax rate unchanged from the year before. The conservation district has charged the same rate—a millage tax of seven-tenths of a cent—for decades.