In Sept. 10 Issue
The great majority of the past years, we have noted property values increasing within the county. With this increase we have also noted that tax rates of the various boards and county and city governments have in most cases maintained or decreased.
With an increased base of total property values, these tax driven boards have been able to increase their revenue while at the same time keeping the tax rate at the same level or in some cases actually lowering the rate.
The most recent years we have been seeing some real estate property values on a decline, often as much as 5 to 15 or even 20 percent.
Like what is occurring across the nation, many home owners trying to sell on the market today, are finding they have a serious problem. The property will now not appraise for what they gave for the home only a year or so earlier.
While the home owners are faced with the dilemma of now having a house they cannot sell for the amount of mortgage against the property, many are faced with either taking a loss or returning the property to the lender.
All of us are familiar with the housing market and these situations.
But, this same market is also the driving force for our local tax rates that fund our government and county services.
City and county governments, board of education, library boards, ambulance and etc., are very likely next to feel the force of this downward spiral of property values.
With this, we then see requests for tax rate hikes for these tax driven boards and services. With a declining or flat base, we can expect requests and increases in tax rates.
Real Estate appraisers are finding it difficult to perform in today's market as comparable are difficult and much pressure is being applied to this industry from the mortgage industry.
We can very likely begin to see property owners requesting a decease in their county appraised value of their real estate. Especially for real estate purchased in the past five years or so. Property purchased within this period is taxed on the amount they paid for their property at the time of the transaction.
In many cases, this value has decreased, but they are being taxed on the higher but original amount at the time of purchase.
As these values are noted, we can very likely see requests for tax rates to be lowered. As this base is lowered, we can very likely see tax requests from tax supported agencies, to be raised.
A drastic circle of events.