Monday, April 22, 2024
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Property Tax Increase On Table For Jackson Co., First Time In 11 Years

A 30-cent property tax rate is on the table for discussion in this year’s Jackson County budget.

Mayor Randy Heady said the inflationary costs have skyrocketed over the last two years and it has caught up to the county. He said that paired with revenue lost due to the pandemic and a low sales ratio, something needed to be done.

“Since being mayor the past five years I’ve always been over the budget and I’ve been really proud that we haven’t raised taxes,” Heady said. “But we really can’t continue to go forward without raising them. It’s been 11 years since a property tax increase.”

Heady said Jackson County is not the only one feeling the pinch, and that other surrounding counties are having to find additional revenue sources as well. He said it is necessary in order to make sure county employees are paid a living wage for their work, particularly the emergency services employees.

Heady said the budget committee has worked on this for the past three months. 20 cents of the tax will go into the general fund balance. Heady said a majority of this increase will go to the employees’ 10 percent pay raise.

“I mean if you look at it, I feel sorry for our people who work for us, our deputies are underpaid compared to other counties, and then our EMTs our emergency management services are behind pay and our paramedics and critical care medics,” Heady said. “They’re just not making enough money in my eyes. And I’ve gotten a lot of support to give them a raise. That’s pretty much county-wide what I’m hearing: ‘They need one, you’re doing the right thing.’ But when you do that it comes at a cost.”

Heady said a public hearing will be held Monday at 6 p.m. at the county courthouse, followed by the regularly called meeting at 7 p.m.