Saturday, September 17, 2011

Commissioner Meets Hendry County Community On Tax Issues

Citizens Confront County On 14% Property Tax Increase

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County, Florida Commissioner Tristan Chapman will meet at LaBelle City Hall Monday, September 19th at 7 p.m. with citizens for a discussion about publicity surrounding the millage rate for the present tax year, 

Mel Karau, of the West Hendry County Council has asked Chapman to meet and share his views and receive comments from the tax payers in West Hendry County and surrounding areas. 

The County Commissioners have tentatively set the millage rate of 7.2894 which reflects an increase of 13.71% over the 6.5 millage rate which has been in effect for the last 5 years. 

At the last BOCC meeting, Commissioner Chapman's motion to hold the maximum tax rate to 6.8294 mills (an increase of 5%), was rejected by the Hendry County Board of County Commissioners.

The 6.8294 millage rate is called the "roll back rate", which, when considering  this year's decrease in property valuations, amounts to no tax increase, and the county would receive the same amount in property taxes as the previous year. 

Traditionally, taxing authorities, the County Commission, School Board, and others like Hospital Authorities, Recreation Districts, and Water Management Districts often dismiss the "roll back rate" and try to raise more money each year instead of holding to a budget to keep the amount collected the same each year.

Commissioner Chapman's motion to cut costs enough to not raise taxes failed by a three to two vote. Only Commissioner Carson Turner also voted in favor of Mr. Chapman's motion. 

Karau says, "Now is the time to become involved and take a stand on establishing your position on the millage rate for the coming tax year---or forever hold your peace when you receive your tax bill with an increase of almost 14%."  Tax bills will arrive after the various taxing authorities in the county vote for millage rates.

Karau added, "Please consider bringing your TRIM notices to our meeting." 

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