Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Expense reports and health insurance

By tomorrow, I hope to have copies of all the documents I need to calculate the expense reports that each supervisor files for reimbursement.

I do know that Supervisor Gary Skinner and Supervisor Jerry Logan do not fill out expense reports for any reimbursements.Mr. Logan does take advantage of the county health insurance, which is a $8,595 expense. This health insurance is the same that is offered to full-time county employees. It is not offered to any part-time employees. 

Supervisor Hap Connors filled out one expense report for $55 for a Quantico Black History Month Association event. 

Supervisors Emmitt Marshall and T.C. Waddy have filled out numerous expense reports for gasoline reimbursement.Waddy drives his district quite a bit and has several town hall meetings with his constituents to hear their concerns. He also personally meets with some constituents at their homes to discuss problems. 

Supervisor Gary Jackson has expense reports for office supplies, mileage and cell phone fax machine use.

Supervisor Benjamin Pitts has expense reports for travel to National Virginia Association of Counties events. At Board of Supervisor meetings, Pitts often talks about issues raised at VACO and NACO events that he attended. Supervisors on Tuesday made him the county’s official liasson and represenative to VACO. He was also recently appointed chairman of VACO’s Administration of Government Steering Committee

 What’s VACO? You can get an idea here. Many stories have been written about the cost of these VACO events.

What is NACO? Check here

Each year, they have annual meetings. Recently, there have been events in Tennessee and Florida, both of which Pitts attended. 

A complete story is on the way. 


  • lgross

    If a county employee is married and their spouse
    has insurance at their job and elects family
    coverage, does the county employee get money
    for not taking the health insurance?

    I think this question is important also. Are the
    BOS that are not taking the health care be
    treated any differently than any other county
    employee who also would not take the insurance?

    In other words, is Mr. Pitts and his fellow BOS who
    don’t take the insurance be treated differently?

    If they are not – then perhaps Mr. Pitts should
    make a motion to provide refunds to all county
    employees including himself for insurance not

    I’m sure Mr. Pitts would not want a rebate just for
    himself and not everyone else in the same boat –

    so what are the facts with regard to county
    employees who do not take the health insurance?

  • dantelvock

    Hi Larry

    According to county admin, full-time employees who do not participate in the county’s health insurance program do get the $1,200 opt-out payment. It’s not a benefit that only supervisors can receive. Hope that helps, Larry

  • lgross

    thanks….. but I was trying to understand/make clear that Mr. Pitts was not
    being treated inequitably as a consequence a a BOS rule.

    what I’m trying to point out is that the BOS are not being treated any differently
    than all other county employees on this issue (except as pointed out that the
    BOS are the only part-time folks that get full health care if they want it).

    It might be perceived as “unfair” that people can choose between getting a
    policy worth 9-10K or choose to not have the policy and only get a 1K rebate –
    but this is a county-wide policy, in fact, I think this is probably a policy found
    across the country because if not mistaken, the tax code does not treat health
    care “benefits” as taxable compensation.

    How do they do this at the FLS if you were married and your spouse worked
    elsewhere and you were on their family policy. How much would the FLS give
    back to you if you did not sign up for health insurance?

    So.. Mr. Pitts is being treated inequitably but as a consequence of the Federal
    and State Tax codes rather than some quirky BOS policy that benefits some
    BOS and not others.

    correct me if I’m wrong on this.

  • gramps

    I do not know about the county…it surprised me that they do receive an opt out reimbursement…but other opt out plans work like this. The hc insurance provided by the employer costs, say 350.00 per pay period. The employer pays 100.00 and the employee pays 250.00 through pay roll deductions. If the employee opts out, the employer provides the 100.00 to the employee as a plus up to their wages. The employee pays all taxes on that 100.00. I believe the employer considers it a benefit and pays it to all employees whether or not they participate.

  • gramps

    Hence, it would appear that Mr. Pitts and any other BOS that opt out would receive the $1200.00 too.

  • lgross

    the article said this: ” $8,595 expense”. I took that to mean
    that – that is the amount the county pays to provide Health
    Insurance to an employee.

    and it appears that Mr. Pitts contention is that he should get
    that 8,595 in dollars if he does not take the health insurance.

    so.. unless I’m looking at this wrong – which I have been
    known to do …. it appears that if a county employee “takes”
    the health insurance.. that they pay some out of their own
    salary but the county kicks in $8,595.

    But if someone does not take the county insurance, they only
    get $1200.

    Now.. I’m curious (assuming this is the case)..why $1200? ..
    why not $3000 or $5000 or even $8595?

  • gramps

    IF Pitts is correct, that says that the county tax payers pick up the whole tab for county employee health insurance and the employee pays ZERO. THAT is one great benefit the tax payers provide to the county employees if true.

    No wonder Logan told the others…you may not want to go there…during the BOS discussion.

  • gramps

    the latest edition of Spotsy County Employee Benefits (FY08) posted on the County website.

    Depending on coverage and plan chosen, employees pay from $44.20 to $281.52 for hc. The county pays from $357.55 to $863.37 for each employee enrolled.

    The county opt out policy is as follows: Employees may opt out provided they have other hc insurance. If an employee does not have other coverage, they must choose an employee only policy at a minimum. If approved for opt out, an employee receives $50.00 on a semi-monthly basis.

    Remember this data is from a FY 08 bulletin and may have been changed.

    It also appears my example posted earlier where the employee opt out reimbursement was for the total employee contribution to their hc was not totally correct for the County.

  • lgross

    so it looks like the county… errr.. county
    taxpayers are subsidizing health insurance for
    county employees – right?

    and that would include taxpayers who,
    themselves, do not have healthcare insurance?

    so… Mr. Pitts .. as a taxpayer.. wants his money

    if that case.. me too!!!

    ha ha ha ( just kidding)….

  • gramps

    Pitts used pertains to that portion of the minimum coverage plan that the county taxpayers contribute to employee hc insurance. In my earlier post the minimum tax payer portion was $357.55. The $8595.00 divided by 24 (the no. of semi-monthly pay periods in a year) is $358.13. I suspect the difference is the amount the hc premiums have escalated since FY 2008.

    In any event Mr. Pitts can only receive $1200.00 in any given year as incentive for not participating. In fact, by not participating, he saves the county 8595 – 1200 = 7395, but he can not get that amount reimbursed to himself.

  • lgross

    I think Mr. Pitts is bound and determined to get his
    money’s worth… one way or the other or we’re going
    to hear about for a while.!

  • southwest

    I never heard Mr. Pitts state that he wanted a rebate. I did hear Mr. Pitts state that he wanted the benefit package and propsed ssalary reduction to be fair. There are three Supervisors who are provided county health insurance (Mr. Logan, Mr. Waddy, and Mr. Marshall.) It cost the county taxpayers $8,595.00 per Supervirsor or $25,785.00 total for this coverage. Is it fair to reduce the salary of Supervisors Jackson, Skinner, Connors, and Pitts by $1,200.00 and not those who participate in County health insuarance by a greater degree? I think the average person would say “NO.” Mr. Pitts could have elected to particiopate in the County health program, but elected not to. He (PITTS) pays over $8,000.00 for a pivate plan just for his wife. I think the benefit package should be the same for “ALL” County Supervisors, not just a select few. If the Supervisors elect to reduce their salary, those with health insurance provided by the county should be required to take a much greater salary reduction, it is only “FAIR.”

  • lgross

    I don’t disagree with the logic but would you fix this issue ONLY for the BOS and not all county employees affected
    similarly? Some might consider that unfair

  • southwest

    Yes, I agree, if the County Administrator request that all county employees take a salary reduction those with county health insurance should take a bigger reduction. I hope that never happens, but if it does that would be the time for the Board of Supervisors take a reduction as well, and not until. The proposal to ask the Board of Supervisors to take a salary reduction at this time was just a political ploy. The true question should be, what result would it have in addressing any present or future budget shortfalls? The clear answer is “NONE.”

  • caroldarby

    I can understand why Pitts feels like he isn’t receiving much compensation to begin with since he’s not taking the County health coverage. However, now that that can of worms has been opened, I guess my question would be WHY do the County employees get $1200 if they don’t need the health insurance plan (they must be on with their spouse or something). I realize it may be one of the benefits, but if they don’t need it, why then are we taxpayers picking up anything for them? When I worked in a law firm they provided a health insurance policy, but if I chose to go on my husband’s plan, they paid me nothing.

    Maybe there is some other reason that I don’t see as to why they wouldn’t need the County plan.

    I remember clearly when it cost $7500 for County employee’s healthcare. I KNOW things have gone up a lot, but maybe they should be chipping in more of the share.

    Also, the plan my husband now has (private industry) is taxable unless you set aside a predetermined amount into a Flexible Spending Account and that portion of your medical expenses is figured on an after-tax amount. We never put money in it because if you don’t use up that amount for doctor’s visits, etc. you totally lose the money you placed in the plan.

  • gramps

    Has there been a change in tax laws recently?

    I am retired, but when I worked in private industry I believe my health benefit costs were treated as nontaxable wages.

  • lgross

    Mr. Pitts is correct that it’s an issue of fairness.

    There is an answer as to why the county is willing to pay 9K for health insurance for the
    employees who take it but not give that same 9K in dollars to those who don’t take it –
    but the policy is county-wide – not just a BOS policy.

    In fact, most employers do this the same way including the School System if not

    So.. it’s not some quirky BOS-only rule that benefits some BOS and not others –

    I think Bhaas has it right. most folks health benefits are not treated as taxable

    but again.. why does the county not offer to each employee – either 9K worth of health
    insurance of 9K in dollars – a choice between the two?

    Let’s get that answer….. this is an opportunity for the FLS to find out why – and inform
    all of us why it works this way – and

    then let… Mr. Pitts .. make a motion for the County to offer to each employee –
    including the BOS – 9K of health insurance or 9K in dollars.


    Why not?

  • southwest

    The reason county government offers those employees $1,200.00 for not taking the county health insurance is simple – to save taxpayer money. For every county employee who doesn’t take their health insurance saves the taxpayers $7,395.00. So for me it looks like a pretty good return – I will give you $1,200.00 if you don’t take $7,395.00 from me. Talking with many county employees I have discovered that many of them that don’t take county health coverage, would take it if the county didn’t offer this incentive program not to take it.

  • lgross

    so the county employees that take the $1200
    instead of getting 9K think it’s a fair deal and Mr.
    Pitts – also a county employee does not?

    what doesn’t the county offer each employee 9K
    in dollars or 9K in health insurance.

    Is Mr. Pitts saying that because they don’t do this
    that it’s an unfair policy?

    what’s the right answer here?

  • caroldarby

    My hubby just said he thinks I am correct; we pay taxes on our share of the health insurance! We pay $475 in taxes on the FREE term life insurance also since “someone” has to pay taxes on the amount in between the $10,000 increments related to salary.

    I’m sure Southwest is correct when he says the employee would take the whole hc package if they weren’t reimbursed the $1200. I’m sure they apply that amount to whatever plan their family chooses. I DO NOT agree with Larry that we should give them the whole 9K if they don’t need the health insurance. That would be like me taking the “child care credit” when I don’t have any children!

    Now, back to the “real question” at hand: I’m not sure Pitts EXPECTS to be given the 9K in pay. I ASSUME he wants to use the lowest figure to deduct his 5% on his total salary/benefit amount while the other supervisors deduct their 5% off their HIGHER total of what it actually costs taxpayers for their total package. Of course, if some supervisors claim gas for a few miles here and there and then others turn it all in, where do you draw the line . . .

    I’ve seen Logan weigh in on these blogs; maybe the supervisors should all do this so we can stop “speculating” what we think they thought! LOL!

  • lgross

    IS taxable but health care insurance is usually not. If it was, you would
    have to list it in your tax returns on the next line below wages and it
    would show up that way on your W2 also and I don’t think it does.

    The issue is the COMPENSATION that you receive from your EMPLOYER –
    not a “credit” (like child care) on your taxes.

    Is the 9K that the county pays for health insurance taxable as income
    on your tax returns?

    If not – why not?

    question 2 – why should the county give one employee 9K worth of a
    benefit and not give another employee the same benefit but in dollars?

    why should the county subsidize the health insurance from a county-
    arranged provider for one employee but not subsidize health insurance
    (purchased elsewhere) for another employee?

  • lgross

    Health Insurance is not taxed as income. a simple check on the web will provide hundreds of sources
    that verify this.. such as this one

    ” As part of a health insurance reform package now before Congress, some of the 164 million
    Americans who are covered by employer-provided health plans could be asked to give up at least
    part of the longstanding tax exemption granted to such compensation.”

    Was Mr. Pitts asking for the county to give him the 9K so he could buy his own health care policy with
    it instead of having to pay for it out of his own pocket?

    If he could do that and also not have to pay tax on that money – would that be “fair”?

    I would think that it SHOULD BE but I doubt that it is – not in Mr. Pitts case and not in an county
    employee case where they might do the same – take the money and use it to buy their own health
    insurance – instead of county-provided insurance.

    So what I was asking was – should the County provide – to ANY EMPLOYEE (INCLUDING the BOS) – the
    9K with which to buy health insurance – either what the county offers – or a non-county policy?

    Is THAT what Mr. Pitts was wanting?

  • gramps

    health insurance is non-taxable by law. You need to carefully examine your hubby’s pay stub and I think you will find that your taxable income is less than your gross income. One of the amounts making up that difference is the health ins. premium.

    On the discussion of opt out versus total ins cost; some things are the way they are just because they are. If an employer gave every opt out employee an amount equal to the cost of the ins it would turn the health care benefit into a welfare benefit IMHO.

  • lgross

    so.. it’s okay to give “welfare” to some employees but
    not to others cuz that’s the way it’s always worked?

    I think Mr. Pitts made a very excellent point… about
    the fairness of such a policy….

    some employees get a 9K perk and some do not – and
    it has nothing at all to do with your pay grade or your

    and Mr. Pitts found himself on the short end of that
    stick… and …squawked….

    Now.. do we want to “fix” it or not?

    Just for myself – amid all the talk about who on the
    BOS should give 5% of what… if the county made an
    exception for Mr. Pitts… would that be any more fair
    to the rest of the employees in the county with the
    same circumstances as Mr. Pitts?

    Bonus Question: Is Mr. Pitts advocating an exemption
    for himself on this policy but not for all county
    employees who are also affected the same way he is?

    or….. is this something that is beyond Mr. Pitts, and
    beyond the county and, in fact, an inequity created by
    our Federal tax system and thus not something we can
    resolve here locally?

    I’m trying to be fair here.. if ya’ll think I’m not feel
    free to whack on me…

  • caroldarby

    I’m lost here. Whether or not Larry and Bill are right that we are NOT being taxed on our health care isn’t the true question we started with. The issue was what figure the BOS should use to reduce their salary by 5% in these hard budget times. The County employees are not going to take this 5% hit, so why are we discussing whether or not their plan is FAIR?

  • southwest

    It is funny that the health benefits provided to county employees isn’t taxed, yet for those employees who elect “Not” to take the health insurance their $1,200.00 is taxed as income. YOU FIGURE. I spoke with Mr. Pitts, he never implied that he wanted anything more then what he is getting, he and other county employees just want to be treated fair…..The issue was started by Mr. Connors and his motion to reduce the salary of Supervisors. A motion that really didn’t need to be made and as usual has started a great deal of misunderstanding.

  • gramps

    Oh my god Larry, you have gone and went paranoid on me. Heheh.

  • lgross

    Since the county is forced to make cuts – pretty much across the board by laying off people
    but that pain was not shared by the leadership nor the BOS, Mr. Connors was suggesting ‘in
    lieu’ of not being laid off to show some shared sacrifice by taking a 5% cut – across the board
    - literally.

    I did not think making that motion was a wrong/bad thing to do myself although it did
    appear to me that he was not totally pure in his motives… so he did stir the pot here but his
    aim was wide… so to speak…

    Mr. Pitts is the fellow who questioned the fairness of the compensation issue in the context of
    the 5% cut, and he did not make a 1 minute explanation of why he was going to vote no –
    like Mr. Marshall did do.

    Nope, he went on and on and on with quite some passion about it engaging in a back and
    forth with others…


    My view was and remains.. that if the CA is being tasked to “come up with ideas” about what
    Mr. Pitts DID characterize as an issue of “fairness” that first, we should recognize that this
    issue is not a BOS-only issue that affects only Mr. Pitts but, in fact, affects probably more
    than a few county employees also. It’s not a discriminatory “perk” only available to some

    .. and that … as a basic matter of “fairness” – whatever “ideas” that staff came up ought to
    at the very least, explain WHY this affects EVERYONE in the same circumstances as Mr. Pitts.

    Mr. Pitts basically said he was opposed to an across the board 5% cut because the BOS was
    not equally compensated – a true statement – but the fact is – that many county employees
    are also suffering the same exact in equity and that was not made clear during the
    discussion and one could have come away thinking that Mr. Marshall, Waddy and Logan got a
    “sweetheart” deal that Mr. Pitts could not and that was unfair to Mr. Pitts.

    What I’ve been advocating is to make clear that this is not a BOS perk issue at all but rather
    an inequity that affects many – including Mr. Pitts.

    that’s all… I’m just trying to get the facts to come out.. in part.. because they did not come
    out…during the BOS discussion, nor made clear in the newspaper article and not in the dialog
    here until we finally got around to the point about the fact – not previously made clear – that
    health care insurance is not taxable income.

    AND…. to ask WHY – in the name of fairness.. that Mr. Pitts himself did invoke.. the county
    has a policy that is unfair not only to Mr. Pitts but a lot of other employees?

    AND… finally… to point out that Mr. Pitts himself can made a motion to fix this inequity not
    only for himself but all other county employees similarly affected.

    If folks feel that I’m wrong about any of this – as usual let me have it.

  • caroldarby

    It’s not that I dispute everything you are saying, Larry. It is the fact that I “thought” the whole issue to begin with was about the 5% decrease the Board was TRYING to agree should be done since other localities were doing it. Since the existing County employees are NOT being asked to decrease their salaries (and/or benefits) by 5% why are we now discussing them?

    I’m tired today so maybe I am missing something???? Yawn!

  • lgross

    “trying to agree” ? ha ha ha… if that was “trying
    to agree”, let me know when they are going to have
    a hockey game…… I wanna be right behind the


  • gramps

    Why does the BOS get treated like full-time employess where hc is concened? They are part time elected officials. I understand they must put in a lot of effort related to county business, but several of them have full-time employment elsewhere or manage their own businesses.

    That is step one. Now, why do some elect to submit expenses and others do not? That appears to be a matter of personal choice. If you elect not to charge the County for your expenses, it is none of your business if others do submit expenses.

    Bottom line…If one BOS only receives the basic salary and another gets the salary plus expenses, plus the opt out money, etc., the person with only the salary does so by choice. These folks are big boys and for them to quibble as they did on County TV is pure nonsense IMHO.

    As far as a cut in pay during these hard times, it should only apply, no matter the % or amount, to the basic salary. That is the fairest and most equitable way; whether Mr. Pitts likes it or not.

    On the subject and tirade put forth by Emmitt Marshall when he asked Barnes if he was planning to cut all employees pay; that was one of the most imbecilic statements he has ever publicly uttered and he ought to be ashamed of himself. County employees are all trying to make ends meet these days and cutting their pay, in the manner put forth by EM, was totally out of line.

  • caroldarby

    You are right Larry. POOR choice of words on my part. Bill’s comments are right on point and it sounds totally reasonable to me.

    As far as Emmitt’s comment — how childish. When he said he worked hard for his salary I thought I’d fall out of my chair. I live in Berkeley District and I feel he is so ineffective that I haven’t called him in 10 years. I have called Hap, Benny and Jerry on more than one occasion.

  • lgross

    I agree with Bill also. I agree with the specifics of Mr.
    Pitts complaint but not how he tried to resolve it
    because, as several have said, a 5% across the board is
    not intended to deal with other issues and if the
    requirement was that BEFORE you could ever enact a 5%
    across the board – all other issues of inequities needed
    to be solved… then we’d end up with gridlock on
    virtually everything similarly framed because inequities
    will always be present.

    I did a little research of the HC/compensation issues
    and thought I would share it for what it might be worth
    (or not) and my question originally was – why can’t the
    county just give everyone an allotment – either good for
    using for the county’s HC or going to buy your own.

    Well, it turns out that the IRS regs have a role in this as
    I suspected.

    Basically, the county can do that – IF THEY VERIFY that
    each employee actually spent their allotment on HC.

    take a quick read – HERE:

    why bring this up? Well.. it APPEARS that the county
    COULD offer cash to Mr. Pitts and others as long as the
    county has, in place, a method to validate.

    I’m not sure what that actually entails because many
    times the govt’s idea of “verification” is much more
    restricted and stringent than what most would think in a
    common sense way of thinking.

    But.. it’s a START…. even if it does potentially end up in
    a dead-end or with other issues.

    So… okay… Mr. Pitts… POTENTIALLY could end up
    helping a lot of employees in his situation with a bit
    moe due diligence rather than essentially not looking
    particularly good if his efforts come across as more his
    own problems.

    Those who know EM, also know that his comment is
    perfectly consistent with many previous comments that
    reveal some of his philosophies. He hails from a
    previous era. One in which Boss Hog leadership was
    more prevalent and practiced.

    Having said that – to date – the people of Berkeley have
    consistently shown in election after election that a
    majority.. weighing all aspects, apparently think his
    performance on part is acceptable.

    Finally… I think everyone has some of the emotions
    displayed by some of the BOS at that meeting but gawd
    o’mighty, I’d not want to expose them on a TV
    broadcast! tsk tsk

  • gramps

    with Larry’s approach of giving each employee a lump sum for hc. Economy of scale. An individual dealing on their own with an ins co would almost for sure have to pay more for that same hc than the county is able to negotiate for ALL the employees.

  • lgross

    if that lump sump went to help buy family
    insurance from the other spouses employee HC

    but at any rate – you point out one of the bigger
    flaws in HC in general in our current system –

    it prevents people from even looking for better
    plans that suit them.

    For instance, some folks may choose a different
    kind of policy that better suits their particular
    family needs. For instance, they may want to sign
    up with an HMO.

    If more people had the opportunity to shop on
    the market – the market would then respond with
    more competitive offerings.

    but I digress…

    Somewhere it was stated that Mr. Pitts already
    had a policy and for his situation it was better for
    him to not take the county plan.

    On the other hand, Mr. Logan, a small
    businessman, you would have though he might
    have access to his own company plan (if he offers
    one) and presumably in a better position to
    bargain with respect to his own needs – but he did

    And Mr. Marshall and Waddy – both likely on
    Medicare getting the full 9k is a waste for sure
    and I wonder how the country handles it’s retirees
    that are on Medicare because one would think
    that if Medicare is Primary, the the “gap” policy
    would be / should be less expensive than the full
    blown primary coverage policy.

  • caroldarby

    Very good point about the Medicare on Waddy and Marshall, Larry. I really am curious what the County does about that. Far too busy to go research it. In fact, I meant to call on our own insurance today to see about that tax/after tax thing business. Life is too busy.

    As for Emmitt still being in office — we won’t even go there. He may have a MAJORITY of his good ole boys down thar in the country; he certainly DOES NOT have a majority from our neighborhood and those surrounding us. All I ever hear is “everyone” saying they wish just ONE good person would run against him so we could have someone progressive to represent our district. The good ole folk down in the country are just AFRAID of what a change MIGHT mean for them. We have a lot of people on Capitol Hill that shouldn’t be there either, but we all know how that goes.

  • lgross

    Well folks have run against him but it seems that every
    time someone runs – a 3rd person also runs and
    effectively splits the anti-incumbent vote.

    Sure seems like an interesting coincidence…..

    There’s going to be an interesting dynamic at the next
    redistricting …. if the primary settlement areas have
    become more dense (more overall residents) then those
    districts would shrink in size and the rural districts would
    grow larger – but the gains would likely contain newer

    At some point the good ole boy vote gets diluted.

  • gramps

    if the story on the BOS expense accounts is still on the way? I am not sure it is that important in the big picture out at the CH.

  • caroldarby

    Yeah, who really cares how much T.C. spent on gas or who turned in receipts for their lunch now and again. In the scheme of things, it’s probably not pennies on the dollar. On the other hand, if someone had something to hide . . . :>)

  • gramps

    That qualifies for BIG picture news! No matter the amount or value.

  • lgross

    Well, I’d like to know why the county pays the full amount
    for health insurance for retirees on Medicare as regular
    employees whose HC insurance is primary.

    If this is the way that the county (and schools) HC
    insurance “works”, it is costing millions of dollars.

    Also.. I’d like to know what the county does not give equal
    allocations to people who want to obtain their HC
    somewhere else.

    Assessments were supposed to be mailed this week –
    anyone got theirs yet?

  • gramps

    but I have not received my mail yet today.

    The info you want from the county hc policy lies outside purview of the promised expense account report. You need full disclosure and expalnation regarding county benefit packages. I don’t think that is what Dan promised…but perhaps he will deliver more than promised.

  • lgross

    I would think since this money comes from
    taxpayers that it’s not such a revolutionary
    concept to expect reasonable accountability for
    the spending.

    but Mr. Pitts in his position as an elected
    representative of taxpayers could – specifically
    ask for this info and who knows if the info comes
    out and questions are asked – Mr. Pitts may
    actually end up with his “allotment” and then he
    could fully support the 5% “symbolic” cut.

  • caroldarby

    Yes, Larry, I just opened our assessment. It is down a shocking 26.7% over last year. I cannot believe my eyes. I still don’t understand why they WAY overassessed land last year (when things were clearly down) and now my land is down $22,200 and the house down $106,100 (didn’t have time to figure out individual percentages). The figure looked shocking to see it on paper. My house was probably worth this much back in 1995 or 1996.

    Now if the Board “equalizes” the rate, they will probably have to have about a 24 cent tax rate hike!

  • lgross

    I HOPE… oh I HOPE that mine is down as much as
    yours cuz… yours tells me that yes.. we are going to
    see an equalization and I’m praying I’m on the
    correct side of it.

  • caroldarby

    What do mean by “the correct side of it”? We were thinking about moving south so, of course, this year I wouldn’t have liked to see it go THAT low. If in the end we pay as much tax (when they equalize it), what is the point. (I realize the State requires the locality to equalize.) Unless the County passed a low tax, wouldn’t it costs us taxpayers either way?

  • gramps

    Residence Property: Overall down 14%; land down 24%; bldg down 10%. These figures based on a supplemental that was made by county since new construction that I occupied after Jan 1, 2009.

    Other Property: Overall down 34%; land down 52%; building down 27%.

    I think I read that the estimated equalization rate was going to be around $0.82/100. Using this rate my taxes will be: Up 14% for residence property; down 12% for other property. Pretty much a wash. Go figure.

  • lgross

    Land is down about 45% house is down about
    about 10%.

    When they equalize – there are going to be
    winners an losers depending on whether or your
    your own mileage (value) is higher or lower than
    the average reduction.

    Despite the decreased values, I’m not sure that
    those are what one could actually sell for in this
    market since most of the buying that is going on
    is mortgage defaults and distressed sales.

    These assessments are going to be bad news for
    some because it will probably put some of them
    “under water” on their equity.

  • gramps

    that we have not heard more about these new real estate evaluations from the county.

  • lgross

    oh….. I suspect the folks who staff that office are
    hunkered down from the near constant phone

    no one is every happy with assessments because
    it’s such a sore spot anyhow when most folks
    think about the 2000+ most pay in taxes EVERY

    and unless you have a kid or two in school, you
    really don’t have a whole lot to show for the
    $2000+ dollars.

    It’s like you’re paying for “insurance”.. and that’s
    what it costs to make sure the sheriff or the
    fire/rescue folks show up if you call.