Commissioners set tax rate, continue looking for cuts

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners voted to keep the tax rate of County Judge Daniel Burkeen’s preliminary budget for now, which is $0.8057 per $100 property valuation; they anticipate, however, that the final rate will be lower.
Commissioners voted on the rate at their Aug. 22 meeting, and also accepted a donation toward Fairground upgrades, approved several agreements concerning the courts and the Law Enforcement Center; and made decisions on personnel and other matters.
As for the initial tax rate voted upon, it is already below the effective tax rate of $0.8063 calculated by County Tax Assessor-Collector Stacy Hall, but the court members all agreed they would look for cuts and present them at another budget workshop set for Tuesday, Aug. 29, to try to make the final rate even lower. Burkeen told the commissioners that they had to vote on an initial rate because if they went above the effective rate they would have to schedule public hearings. Those hearings are not necessary now.
Commissioner Pct. 4 Bobby Forrest was still encouraging the rest of the court to cut $826,000 from the preliminary budget to keep the tax rate at last year’s rate, which was $0.7622. Even at that rate, he pointed out, many homeowners will pay more taxes since their property valuations rose.

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