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Tax digest delivered on time

The 2010 Grady County tax digest was delivered on time by the tax assessor’s office, but the news it contained was not good.
The overall value of the county dropped for the second consecutive year. The net digest dropped from $596,217,261 last year to $581,119,211 this year.
This means that one mill of ad valorem tax will generate 2.5 percent less tax revenue this year than it did last year.
According to County Administrator Rusty Moye, if the county commission maintains a net millage rate of 10.50 mills, the county will have $158,530 less tax revenue in ad valorem taxes to fund the 2011 operating budget.
However, Moye is predicting that the county’s overall revenues will actually be more than in 2010. The administrator’s total budgeted revenue estimate from all sources currently stands at $10,774,283, compared to $10,687,419 for 2010.
County commissioners reviewed the tax digest Thursday during a work session at the courthouse.
County officials are also looking at the possibility of including a raise for county workers in the 2011 spending plan. Based on Moye’s revenue projections, the county could come close to funding a three percent cost of living raise for all county employees without a property tax hike.
“In these times, we are looking at all options. We are in a positive financial position because of the conservative efficiency of our employees. We realize we are where we are because of our employees, and we need to compensate them to some extent,” Chairman Al Ball said Thursday.
Vice Chairman Charles Renaud agreed and commented, “This is just the beginning of the budget process, but looking at these numbers, it looks like we can do something for the employees. We need to think about doing something for them because we’ve held them down a long time.”
Chief Appraiser Susan Bennett and the tax assessor’s office staff completed the digest and presented it to Tax Commissioner Phyliss Gainous by the June 1 deadline mandated in state law.
This was the first time in more than 10 years that the digest was presented on time.
According to the tax assessors, the value of the county dropped in every area. The value of real property dipped by $2,234,769 to $634,697,812. The total value of real property was increased by $1,840,922 in new construction and additions, but the total of reassessed values outpaced the growth in real property values.
The total value of personal property dropped $5,766,748, while the value of mobile homes decreased by $4,751,220.
Timber value dropped $318,870 and the value of heavy duty equipment also dropped by $144,185.
The total amount of exemptions continues to increase and 2010 was no different with the exemptions growing by $5,332,687 for a total of $184,439,971 exempted from ad valorem taxes.
When all was said and done, the overall value of the county dropped by $12,863,281.
County commissioners will meet again Thursday night to continue their review of the proposed 2011 spending plan.

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