Even with rollback rate, city property taxes to rise

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By Nick Nunn staff writer

The City of Madison is proposing adopting the rollback millage rate of 6.127 for fiscal year (FY) 2015. An increase in the gross tax digest for Madison from roughly $213,000,000 in 2013 to approximately $233,000,000 in 2014 allowed the rollback millage rate to drop from 6.565 to 6.127. Despite the drop in the rollback rate, there will be a net increase in taxes of around $39,000, reflecting a net tax increase of 3.1 percent.

Madison will also take the rollback millage rates of 1.267 and 1.338 for the downtown and corridor special tax districts, respectively. The city will hold a public hearing concerning the millage rate at 160 North Main Street on Monday, July 21, at 6 p.m. Morgan County Chief Appraiser Chuck Anglin spoke to the Madison City Council about the property digest last Thursday, June 26, during a work session. Anglin stated that there was a 9.9 percent increase in real property and a 12 percent increase in personal property, but later added that a 10 percent increase “is not a big number. Anglin says that the tax assessors’ office determines property values by seeing how much properties sell for in a given area and base their information from the sales.

He also said that property values are locked in on January 1 of a given year of evaluation, comparing the assessors’ view as a “snapshot” of sales as of the beginning of the year. After that point, said Anglin, exemption requests are received and have to be worked into the gross digest before the net digest can be completed. The council discussed dropping the insurance requirement from the tour of homes ordinance. City Manager David Nunn said that the clause requiring home tour operators to keep insurance for their operations was a “last-minute addition” to the ordinance that proved to be “simply not workable.” “Insurance companies really don’t know how to write that risk,” said Nunn. “ Their exposure is unknown.

Dropping this requirement will make insurance optional for home tour operators. “It’s up to them,” said Mayor Fred Perriman. The city council also discussed an amendment to the schedule of fees that would increase the base rate for gas customers from $7 to $9 for most residences. Nunn said that the increase would be a “second and final step up” in the base rate, which the council approved previously. He added that the city would begin charging a $10 deposit on recycling bins, which frequently go missing when customers move out of town.

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