At last Thursday’s Hancock County School Board meeting, the board decided to lower the tax on real and personal property. The board reduced the tax rate one cent per $100 of assessed valuation on real and personal property. The motor vehicle and utility tax rates remain unchanged.
“We wanted to keep the taxes down for the community,” Superintendent Robby Asberry said. “The new rate will bring in about $70,000 less.”
In a letter, Superintendent Asberry explained the district’s rationale for reducing the tax rate.
“Due to a decrease in the Tangible Personal Assessments, our current tax rate would have resulted in a revenue shortfall of more than $400,000,” Superintendent Asberry said. “The loss in Tangible Personal Assessments is a result of Covid-19 decreasing production/inventory and the sale or closing of local industries. Real Estate Assessments have increased by $9 million, which helped offset some of these losses.
“In August of 2019, the Hancock County Board of Education agreed they would refrain from approving or accepting any property tax rate above ‘Compensating’ for three subsequent tax years after the Nickel passage went into effect. The ‘compensating rate’ does not generate additional revenue for the school system, but only sustains the current funding level.
“The Board of Education has decided to take one cent below the Compensating Rate on real and personal property resulting in a decrease in funding for our School System. The school district has implemented cost-saving measures that will allow us to continue giving all students a high quality education despite this loss in revenue. This will help lessen the burden on our local taxpayers.”
By Ralph Dickerson