April 12, 2010


At Monday’s BOC meeting April 5th, everybody wanted more money.  The Sheriff, the library, EMS, the Water Authority.  The question is, just where is that money tree located?  It must be at the courthouse because that’s where everyone comes seeking more money, even though the citizens never see more services.

At the at the budget hearing February 19, 2010, Board of Assessors Chief Appraiser, Lynn Bentley, told the crowd that everything was great, money was coming in, there was nothing to worry about, and the budget didn’t need to be cut.  She encouraged the commissioners to leave the budget at $8.2 million.  Maybe this is why everyone thinks there is plenty of money.


But a few weeks later at the Board of Assessors meeting it was another story.  Values are down significantly.  From The Monticello News—3/18/10

Chief Appraiser Lynn Bentley's 2010 Digest rec­ommendations were present­ed to the Board of Assessors (BOA) last Thursday during the board's regular monthly meeting.


According to the numbers, land values in the northern parts of the county have de­creased an average of 25 percent and 15 percent in the south.

The BOA also plans to up­
date all residential structure pricing, which will result in a decrease in all residential houses by an average of 10 percent.


The bottom line is property values will decrease, however a reduction in taxes depends on whether or not the County Commission and the School Board raise the millage rate.


At the budget hearing the story was everything is great; now it is, if your taxes go up it’s because the commissioners have to bring in enough money to fund that $8.2 million budget.

At the budget hearing the District 3 commissioner agreed; everything is great, and NO millage increase will be needed in 2010 and he had the majority of the BOC agree with him.


Even though 2 commissioners stood firm and voted against the $8.2 million budget, it passed.  Both Comm. Cox and Comm. Patrick have emails they send out. Both have said the budget needed to be cut.  Both have said the values were going down.  They have said to keep taxes from going up after values go down the budget has to be cut. 



Newton County is having problems.  DeKalb County is talking about closing 12 schools.  Other counties continue to cut their budgets because revenues are coming in lower.

County revenue down, depts. cut  expenses
 Jan. 22, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Next year's county budget could be 10 percent lower
Tax digest expected to decrease by 10 percent or more

March 3, 2010 7:47 p.m.

TWG continues to wonder why Jasper County is the only county in the State and maybe the entire country that supposedly doesn’t have to cut their budget.  Maybe our new County Manager can solve that mystery while deciding how to fund an EMS director, a CFO, and more money for everyone. 



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