MURPHYSBORO — The Jackson County Finance Committee took action this past week to lessen the burden on property owners’ bank accounts.
According to Finance Committee Chairwoman Elizabeth Hunter, the county is able to levy property tax increases by a certain amount each year. Typically, she said, the county levies the highest amount allowed by state statute. However, in this budget coming up, the finance committee is recommending that the county levy 10 percent less than the maximum allowed.
Hunter said the move by the county is a statement to its constituents.
“We understand the tax burdens that the people have, and we are trying to alleviate that,” she said.
The recommendation was approved when County Board Chairman John Rendleman used his committee vote to weigh in on the tied vote. Since Rendleman is the chairman, he has the right to cast a vote at committee meetings when there is a tied vote and he is present for the matter.
Board members Brian Chapman, Dan Bost and Keith Larkin also voted in favor of the matter.
Rendleman said this measure isn’t going to save a large amount of dollars for the public, but it is better than just increasing the levy as much as the board is legally allowed.
“The impact of the board stopping the increases is important,” he said.
According to county documents, the actual amount not levied is about $32,000.
The board will approve the tax levy and the full county budget in November, Hunter said.
Other cuts made within the budget include the elimination of funding for a county administrator, no money for additional jail staff, and cutting $250,000 for capital improvements. Such improvements include work done to the courthouse, primarily the steps of the courthouse, Hunter said.
According to the county, the budget fully funds employee health insurance and provides for employee pay raises from collective bargaining agreements and a 4 percent increase for nonbargaining employees.