This year Coast counties are updating property values, but there will be a difference from prior years.
The state has dictated it will no longer accept homes being assessed at 80 percent of their actual value. It wants at least 85 percent.
And that, some Coast residents say, is a very subtle way to get money from homeowners.
It’s not raising taxes. If Coast supervisors had raised taxes by 5 percent, there would be an outcry.
But county, city and school tax rates are based on property values. So if the value goes up or is kept from going down in a down year, the homeowner will pay.
Tax Assessor Benny Goff in Jackson County said as the state Department of Revenue (formerly the state Tax Commission) pushes homes closer to market value, “they’re shifting the tax burden to the homeowner, and I don’t like it.”
Though it’s not as simple as saying all property in a county will go up 5 percent in value, the assurance that property will be at at least 85 percent rather than 80 percent gives county leaders a cushion, knowing property values won’t go down quite as much or in some cases will increase a little.
The range the state allowed prior to 2007 was 80 to 120 percent of the true value. Now it’s 85 to 115 percent.