Caroline raises real estate tax rate by 4 cents
The Caroline County Board of Supervisors voted last night to increase the county’s real estate tax rate by 4 cents.
The board voted 4-2 during the Tuesday night meeting to change the county’s real estate tax rate to 72 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Supervisors Wayne Acors, Calvin Taylor, Floyd Thomas and Reggie Underwood voted in favor of the 4 cent increase. Supervisors Jeff Black and Jeff Sili were opposed.
The current rate of 68 cents per $100 of assessed value was put in place last year and was a 15-cent increase over the 53-cent rate that had been in place for four years.
Black said he would be in favor of a 2-cent increase, but not a 4-cent increase.
“Caroline’s unemployment rate is 8.5 percent. I drive around Lake Land’Or and I see foreclosed homes. I have major concerns that people can’t afford this,” he said.
That vote also included a change in the personal property tax rate from $6.25 per 50 percent of assessed value to $3.50 per 100 percent of assessed value. This is a 38 cent increase.
The board unanimously voted to direct staff to find $825,000 in cuts to the county budget.
“As long as 50 percent doesn’t come from schools,” Sili requested.
Chairman Acors said the staff will come up with the cuts, not the board members.
Underwood commented that if the county is going to make cuts, every department would have to be affected.
“I hear different people say don’t cut this or don’t cut that, but there are no sacred cows,” he said. “Every belt needs to be tightened.”
Taylor said he was fine with making cuts, but not if it had a negative impact on county services.
“It’s easy to say cut, but I don’t know what impact it has,” he said. “I don’t want us to tighten our belts so much that we kill our departments,” he said.