New Tax May Be Approved in April

The Franklin County Commission voted 3-0 to raise the property tax rate for 2013 Tuesday.

A public hearing on the tax rate increase Tuesday drew no one from the public.

The tax rate was set at 14.83 cents for the general fund and 21.24 cents for road and bridge.

The general fund tax rate will generate $2.6 million and the road and bridge rate, $3.8 million.

The 2012 tax rate for the general fund was 13.08 cents and road and bridge 19.86 cents.

Under state law, the tax rates can go up to 35 cents per $100 of assessed value without a vote of the people.

Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer has said the tax rate increase is needed to generate needed revenue with recent drops in property values.

This year, the county experienced its largest drop in assessed value in over 50 years.

The county’s total assessed value, including personal property and real estate, for 2013 is $1.8 billion compared to $1.9 billion the year before. That is a decline of $81.5 million, or 4.4 percent.

Assessed values represent a percentage of market values. The assessed value is the percentage at which property is taxed. Residential property is taxed at 19 percent of its market value; agricultural, 12 percent; commercial/industrial, 32 percent; and vehicles, 33.3 percent.