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Assessments: ‘This is not a bill’

During the May 23 commission meeting to approve the second reading of the county’s proposed budget, county manager Brandon Rogers noted that assessment notices will be delivered to citizens this week.

“Assessment notices will be very misleading this year and a lot of people are going to be very upset when they see them. But keep in mind, this is not a bill and there have been changes in the standard rate of assessed value. It’s increased from $60 per square foot to $91 per square foot which is more representative of the value of your home,” he said. “When you get your notice, remember, this is not a bill. If the assessed value of your home is what you could expect to sell it for in the current market, that is what is important to note.”

Rogers stated that the notice will include tax estimates based on last year’s millage rate of 11.9 but he expects the millage rate to drop to around 9 so that estimate will be decreased by the time bills are mailed.

“This does not mean that there will not be increases on your tax bill but the board is going to roll back the millage rate to eliminate as much of that as possible,” he said, noting that they would rollback the rate beyond the minimum required by the state.

Commissioner Tim Guy was absent from the meeting but other commissioners voted unanimously to approve the second reading of the 2023-24 budget.

County manager Rogers noted that there were still several items that negatively impacted the budget, including a 2% Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) increase for employees’ social security.
He also noted that the insurance company got back with them on insurances costs and there will be a 39% increase.

“With this insurance group, we are getting penalized for other counties in our group,” Rogers said. “We only have 4 or 5 claims a year and they are very small except for one big claim in 2017 that’s the only big hit on our claims. The company is taking a big loss from bigger counties in the group and we are having to pay more.

He said he will look into other insurance options for employees and the county has until July to make that decision.

“We are doing our due diligence to keep this budget as tight as possible,” he said.

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