Apparently there are a number of county residents upset over this decision, as evidenced by the turnout at last night’s board meeting.
That concern is understandable given the fact that county residents may very well be paying taxes on property based on a value higher than the sale price they could realize should they sell their property. Another concern is that some residents believe the commissioners are simply trying to hoodwink them again, getting more tax money than they should based on the value. This is also understandable, given the fact that the board, during its last revaluation, bragged about not raising taxes when it did, in fact, raise taxes on county residents. The board did not raise the tax rate, but with the increased value, the county did impose a tax increase on most property owners despite its claims to the contrary.
We said then that such actions sow the seeds of distrust among the public, and some of that is being reaped now.
Still, we cannot find any significant fault with the county’s decision to put off the revaluation. Yes, there might be a piece of paper, or a computer file, which states a tract of property has a tax value higher than its actual commercial value, but the idea that the county is getting extra tax revenue in this manner is probably not grounded in reality. We say this because if the county were to undertake a revaluation now and the property values were assessed at a lower level there is little doubt the commissioners would simply hike the tax rate to keep revenue level, or slightly higher, than present figures.
Under this scenario the commissioners would simply be spending taxpayer money on a revaluation which will have little, if any, real effect on taxes paid. In other words, it would be a wasted expense.
Given the present economic conditions, and the board’s diligence in trying to hold the line on expenses, we believe this is consistent with its recent practices and most likely the proper course of action.