The Overton County Commission passed its 2020-2021 budget with a 28-cent property tax cut Monday night.
County Executive Ben Danner said good fiscal responsibility over the last six years led to the tax cut. He said a lot of credit has to go to how well the county’s debt has been managed.
“Over the last six years, we’ve paid off a bunch of loans, and we’ve built new things,” Danner said. “We have a new nursing home that’s getting built right now, but we’ve paid off so much stuff that we owe less than we did six years ago, so we’re really excited that we were able to lower the rate for the people in this county.”
Danner said Overton County’s sales tax receipts have been strong even during the COVID pandemic. He said although sales tax collections were down $400 the first month of the pandemic, they were up $40,000 the next month.
“We’re over $100,000 ahead of last year’s sales tax at this time,” Danner said.
As the county government is set to move into a new building in September, Danner said the completed budget is one thing that Overton County officials do not have to worry about for another year. He said the county is seeing a lot of good growth, leading to a stronger tax base.
“I’m really glad the budget came in,” Danner said. “We’re moving into a new building in a couple of months and we’ve been doing a lot of things. We surly didn’t want to raise taxes on people while doing that, but especially with the COVID. We had a reappraisal and we’ve had a whole lot of new houses built in Rickman, so we had enough new growth to come in to actually drop the tax rate.”
Danner said Overton County has not raised taxes in five years. He said with this year’s decrease, the tax rate is now lower than when he entered office in 2014.