Commissioner Bebe says she vaguely intends to cut the county’s tax rate by “almost a mil,” in light of recent tax reappraisals that increased the county’s property values (on paper) by $57 million.
State law says if the county’s tax digest – the value of all assessed properties – goes up, the county (or city or whatever else) has to either lower its tax milage rate (the “mil”) so it doesn’t make more money than the year before, or have the required tax increase meetings – even if the tax rate stays the same.
Heiskell hasn’t said exactly what the new tax rate will be, but it’s likely that she’s just following the law here. Her assessors went out, said your house is worth more, then she lowers the multiplier that says how much of that value you have to pay.
The tax rate will be no lower than last year, and last year was higher than the previous year, and that year higher than the year before – and some people whose properties were assessed much higher will still pay more taxes.
Heiskell raised taxes the last two years more than she’s cutting them this year, and the county remains tens of millions in debt. She did the same thing right before the vote in 2012: raised taxes one year, then cut them a small amount the next year so she could brag about being fiscally responsible.
Bebe lowering taxes a small fraction this year after raising them a significant amount the last two in a row is like somebody stealing your car and being nice enough to bring the hubcaps back.
Erlanger Hospital has so far paid $4.1 million in lawyer’s fees as part of the overlapping lawsuits with Hutcheson and Walker County.
Walker County’s lawyer still insists he’s only billed us $65,000 during the same time – but there’s a big difference between “billed” and “will bill later.”
Lawyer Stuart James, who’s being paid with county tax dollars, has also begun taking shots at Commissioner Heiskell’s election opponents, Whitfield and Lamb, for saying what he’s being paid is a waste.
Another date promise for cleanup of the old Barwick mill that burned ten months ago.
The mess has been set for cleanup next month for the last eight months.
- WQCH Radio, 08/29/16: “THE OWNER OF THE FORMER BARWICK MILLS PLANT HAS SIGNED THE EPA CONSENT ORDER FOR CLEANUP, FOLLOWING LAST YEAR’S BIG FIRE.
- “DRENNON CRUTCHFIELD SIGNED THE ORDER THIS WEEK, ACCORDING TO PROJECT MANAGER DAVID ANDREWS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. ANDREWS SAID THERE IS NOW AN APPROXIMATE 3-WEEK PERIOD FOR REVIEW OF THE PLAN, TO BE FOLLOWED BY AN ACTUAL START OF ACTIVITY ON THE SITE IN SEPTEMBER.
- “WATER RUNOFF FROM THE FIRE FIGHTING EFFORTS WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE SITE IN LAFAYETTE, AND ALSO FROM STORAGE AT THE FORMER ARCHER PLANT IN KENSINGTON, AND TRANSPORTED FOR TREATMENT IN THE ATLANTA AREA. THAT WILL BE FOLLOWED BY ASBESTOS ABATEMENT AND FINAL DEMOLITION OF THE BURNED PORTION OF THE MILL.
- “THE OWNER WILL PAY FOR THE CLEANUP, SO IT WILL NOT BE AT ‘TAXPAYER EXPENSE’. ANDREWS ALSO NOTED THAT IF THERE HAD BEEN AN IMMINENT THREAT TO THE PUBLIC, THE CLEANUP PROCESS WOULD HAVE BEEN EXPEDITED. THE FIRE DESTROYED ABOUT A QUARTER OF THE MILL COMPLEX IN NOVEMBER OF 2015.”