SNOW HILL – As the annual budget process gets underway, Worcester County is advertising plans to keep the tax rate steady.
Though real property tax revenues will increase by .9% in the coming fiscal year, the county is considering not reducing its tax rate to the constant yield level. The Worcester County Commissioners this week approved advertising to maintain the current $.845 rate into the next fiscal year. The public will have the opportunity to weigh in on the tax rate next month.
“The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 4 at 7 pm,” said Budget Officer Kathy Whited.
According to the advertisement approved this week, the county’s estimated real property assessable base will increase .9%, in coming fiscal year. If the county maintains its current tax rate of $.845 per $100 of assessment, real property tax revenues will increase by .9%, resulting in $1,242,574 in new property tax revenues. In order to fully offset the increasing assessments the real property tax rate should be reduced to $.8374, what Whited said was the constant yield tax rate.
“The calculation states that as assessments rise, the tax rate should drop to the point that the revenue derived from the property tax stays at a constant level from one year to the next,” she said.
The county, however, is not planning to reduce the rate to offset increasing assessments. The county is advertising a real property tax rate of $.845, which will provide an extra $1.2 million in revenue. Officials are currently facing increased maintenance of effort costs related to the school system as well as a potential decrease in revenue related to the county jail, as legislation being considered at the state level would prohibit it from working with U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement.
“We are watching,” Whited said, adding that figures would be finalized as the budget process continued.
A public hearing on the budget and tax rate is set for May 4 at the Worcester County Government Center. Citizens who wish to attend and comment are asked to pre-register. People can also submit comments in advance by email to [email protected].