Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell stated there will be no increase of property taxes levied on Walker County residents this year.
“I want to provide some help to residents who continue to struggle in the midst of these tough economic times,” Commissioner Heiskell said.
The milage rate for county residents living in the unincorporated areas of Walker County will remain constant at 4.835, while the incorporated areas will decrease slightly from 7.196 to 7.195.
Many residents still face difficulties finding employment or are underemployed due to the recession that continues to grip most of the country, she noted.
“I know people are struggling and I hope this will come as welcomed news to those who are,” Commissioner Heiskell said.
Although the commissioner has elected to keep the milage rate steady, Walker County is facing a shortfall in the revenues from property taxes for 2012, she said.
Walker County Chief Financial Officer Greg McConnell explained, “Our current property values are down according to our tax digest. We expect to bill about $200,000 less than last year.”
The gross digest from the Walker County Assessor's Office shows a decrease in property valuation of about $6.5 million in the unincorporated portions of the county alone.
“This means we will have less money for the county budget to operate off of in the coming year due to having no other means or sources to offset this decrease,” said Mr. McConnell.
When asked how the county will operate with less revenue, Commissioner Heiskell responded, “We will have to simply tighten our belts a little more as others have had to do during these tough times.”
The public hearing to formally set the milage is scheduled to occur on Sept. 27 at 10:30 a.m. at the commissioner's office in LaFayette.
Property tax notices are set to go out to property owners on Oct. 20.