Tax Collections Sky High
|In what could only be considered a huge windfall for
county government, property tax collections for 2007 have broken all
records. With the February property tax deadline well passed. the county
has already collected $22,543,410.00. This far surpasses collections for
any previous year. On top of that, another million in late payments is
expected to be collected over the next few months.
The big winner in the massive property tax collections is by all means the county general fund having already pulled in $8,629,728.00. That's more than a 1.3 million dollar increase for the general fund property tax collection over last year. Add another half million in late collections and the county general fund swells even higher.
All the other accounts that receive property tax revenues have also see sizeable increases in their revenue budgets. The Lenoir City School system has raked in $3,350,094.00.
In 2005 the commission narrowly, by one vote, passed a 21% property tax increase. This was the largest tax increase in the County's history. The commission passed the tax increase on what turned out to be erroneous financial advice from a representative of The County Technical Assistance Service, CTAS, who had given dire estimates on the county's financial position. All of the projected short falls turned out to be wrong. Unfortunately, the property tax increase had already been passed and we all know, the government never gives anything back.
With county coffers now flush with excess cash, the
question is, what will local officials do with our money? History has
proven that government rarely uses our money wisely. It's a safe bet the
size of local government will get bigger. Since it's not likely
commission would ever consider reducing the property tax rate, then it's
time for commission to adopt the Senior Citizen property tax freeze that
was voted in by a landslide in 2006.
Below is a table showing property tax collections by year.