Comm. Doug Luke has finally joined Comm. Bruce Henry in the fight to lower the millage rate and give the property owners some relief. He did his best and fought for the citizens the entire meeting.
June 1, 2017
At the last BOC meeting, Comm. Salmon made a push to add $200,000 to the budget and had EMS/Fire Director, Chris Finch, “crunch some numbers” at the last minute. (see May 28th blog)
Comm. Henry balked, Comm. Pennamon was frustrated, and Comm. Luke realized what a “heck of an increase” the proposal would be year after year for the taxpayers. Listen to the discussion and watch as Comm. Luke fights against more taxes, and Comm. Salmon pushes for increased spending.
Comm. Luke also questions how cost effective it would be to add a new station if you only had 15 or 20 calls a year for service vs. $300,000 or more in increased annual funding.
Comm. Henry and Comm. Luke both voted to approve a 15.945 millage rate. As Comm. Luke argued for the lower millage rate and against Salmon’s proposal, he reminded all of the BOC that the numbers presented were nothing but a projected number and how fast it could grow. Fight, Doug, Fight!
Comm. Jernigan made the motion to go with the higher 16.446 millage rate, 2nd by Comm. Pennamon. Comm. Henry and Comm. Luke were against, and Comm. Salmon wouldn’t vote. It appeared he was holding out hoping to get his way. Comm. Luke said, “We have to deal with the reality we have right now.” Comm. Pennamon said the millage rate had to be settled that night. Comm. Salmon finally voted to use the highest millage rate presented.
Until the property owners of this county start speaking up, taxes will continue to go up. The BOC will raise our taxes 3.54% according to the 5 year history, and the School Board will raise our taxes 3.13% according to their 5 year history. This is on top of the value increase many property owners received.
A $15,000 value increase on your home would result in a tax increase of approximately $200. This is in addition to the tax increases over each of the past 3 years. As long as there are no citizens at the public hearings, spending will go up and taxes will too.
Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.