Walker County Residents Facing Property Tax Increase

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Walker County Sole Commissioner Bebe Heiskell said Thursday that a property tax increase is necessary because the county's revenue is declining by millions of dollars.

She said income is down from $21 million to $18 million.

The proposed increase would bring in $4.2 million.

Ms. Heiskell said the owner of a $100,000 house would pay an additional $10 per month ($120 per year).

Several public hearings will be held. They will be next Thursday at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and a final one on Sept. 11 at 10 a.m. Action will be taken Sept. 11 at 10:30 a.m. The hearings will be in the main courtroom at the Walker County Courthouse.

Commissioner Heiskell said other county officials are set to attend, including Sheriff Steve Wilson. She said he is in need of additional personnel.

The last county property tax hike was 2010.

She said reasons for the revenue drop include a decline in the yield from the millage including the fact that many now claim conservation status which cuts their tax in half as well as senior tax breaks.

She said sales tax collections are down with many Walker County residents shopping in nearby counties. She said many do business with Costco in Catoosa County and with a Super Walmart in Chattooga County.

At one time, she said, industries paid much of the taxes. However, she said many now get major concessions from government to keep them from moving to areas where they will get even better breaks.



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