Budget Committee Proposes 12-Cent Property Tax Hike

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The Cannon County Commission will be asked to approve a 12-cent increase in the property tax rate at a special session which has been tentatively set for Thursday, Sept. 15.

The commission's Budget Committee approved submitting to the full commission an increase in the property tax rate from $2.32 to $2.44 per $100 of accessed property during a meeting Monday night at the Cannon County Courthouse.

That increase, along with taking money from the county's general fund balance, would fund the requested appropriations for the 2011-2012 fiscal year budget.

The decision to raise the property tax rate 12 cents came after members of the Budget Committee, and other county commissioners who attended Monday's meeting, saw what the effect would be on the budgets of the county's departments if the rate were kept at the current $2.32.

Commissioner Kevin Mooneyham had made the suggestion at the commission's Aug. 23 meeting to see what cuts would be necessary if the rate were not increased. He didn't like what he learned Monday.

"If we do this (cut 7.2 percent) we are crazy," Mooneyham said. "I had no idea what I was talking about. We can't do this. I am not going to watch this county go down the drain."

Under the new proposal, two cents of the increase will now go to funding Solid Waste, which has been running over budget, instead of being earmarked for debt service. County Schools will receive a one cent increase.

"Most of (the county's) departments could not run the way it did last year with a 7.2 percent cut," Budget Committee Chairman and Commissioner Mark Barker said. "Unless we have a tax increase we would have to take (more) money out of the fund balance, and if we kept doing that we would eventually deplete the fund balance."

Commissioner Kevin George said several areas of the county's budget need to be changed, but added there was not enough time to do so this year.

"We as a commission and management need to sit down, between now and next year, and discuss ways to fix things, but we can't do it in the next few weeks," Commissioner George said.

So far during the budget process this year, the budget committee has twice recommended a 20-cent increase in the property tax rate. Both times it was rejected by the full commission. At its Aug. 23 meeting the commission first approved, then rescinded, a 15-cent increase.

(Check back to CannonCourier.com later this week and see next week's print edition of the Cannon Courier for additional coverage of Monday's meeting)
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Members Opinions:
August 30, 2011 at 7:34am
The idea to meet and discuss the budget for 2012 throughout the year is one of the best ideas I have heard to date.

However, with the way the current structure is and regular commissioners meetings only called for on a quarterly basis would need to be changed.

I have said this before and I will say it again, does anyone believe that we have so little problems in Cannon County that our County Commissioners meeting once a month is too much?

The time has come and long since past that this needed to be proposed and enacted.

If the need was there to make a resolution requiring our local FEMA board to meet, the need is there to have our Commissioners meet monthly as well.
August 30, 2011 at 9:15am
Just as long as the county workers do not use the money to give them selves a raise. Most of this money will come of of the backs of elderly people that can not afford it.
August 30, 2011 at 12:09pm

County workers cannot give themselves a raise. The only people who can do that are the County Commissioners and just so you know, none of the county employees have received a raise in the past four years.

This will make five in a row.
August 30, 2011 at 2:17pm
I agree with Kevin George, it took time for the budget to get this way, and it will take time to fix it. Things have been done a certain way when dealing with the budget, and after it is looked at in a non-pressure situation, as it has been the last week, our commissioners will be able to get it fixed. It may take more than one year to get things back on track, but with a carefully thought out plan it can be transitioned in over a 2 or 3 year period.

I would have to agree with Corey in saying that until this matter is situated out it would be a good idea to meet once a month on the issue.
September 01, 2011 at 9:53pm
@Corey, those county employees need not feel bad. I work at the only industry in Cannon County and we haven't had a raise in 4 years either!!!
September 03, 2011 at 10:05am
Corey, just so you know, people on social security checks have not had a raise either.
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