Everyone wants to know about property taxes. Would you consider raising property taxes for next year (2016-17)?
CLIFF BICKFORD (DALE)
Increasing taxes as a way to achieve a balanced budget should always be the last resort. When you consider that revenue generated from property tax has increased over the prior two budget cycles it would seem that another increase in 2016-2017 would be an inappropriate added burden on county stakeholders.
DOROTHY JAECKLE (BERMUDA)
Raising taxes is a last resort to balancing a budget. In my eight years on the Board, we decreased taxes one year when real estate revenue exceeded revenue forecasts. Taxes were increased by the same amount several years later after years of declining revenue. That was the result of the fact that some of the cuts made during the years of declining revenue were negatively affecting our students and the quality of life for our citizens. During my tenure on the Board, General Fund spending adjusted for inflation has dropped from $2498 per county resident in 2008 to $2109 in 2015. With economic conditions improving, I do not foresee a tax increase in the 2016-2017 year; however, raising or lowering taxes is a decision that needs to be made after careful evaluation of all budget information and citizen priorities.