County property tax rates may rise from 10.281 to 10.791 mills to help balance the $605 million general fund budget, which runs day-to-day operations, but the rate hike might not increase taxpayers’ burdens.
“It is expected the new rate will generate the same amount of billing as last year,” county Finance Director Patrick O’Connor said in a statement. “In other words, the revenue-neutral millage rate [of 10.791 mills] is the rate that will be used to offset the decline in value of existing properties.”
A $2.2 billion decline in tax digest value for 2012 as received from the Board of Assessors’ office, he said, means the county will earn only $455 million in income if the current rate stands.
“This is a net reduction of $74 million, or 14 percent in county revenue,” O’Connor said.
At the June 20 meeting, District 3 Commissioner Liz Hausmann voted against advertising a potential millage rate increase.
“A half-mill increase is going to be a tax increase for a big portion of our folks,” she said. “To ask for an increase now is not the right direction.”