Friday, November 6, 2015

Martin County pushes to triple county property tax rate

(AP) — Some Martin County residents are upset about an ordinance that would more than triple the rate on county property taxes.

The county's fiscal court recently gave first reading to an ordinance that would increase the county property tax rate from 11 percent to 38.7 percent. County officials say the increase is due to the loss of coal severance dollars.

Judge Executive Kelly Callaham says the county's rate has stayed the same for years, instead relying on coal severance. The county would receive between $400,000 and $500,000 in severance every quarter. Last quarter, it received $101,000.

Callaham says the new rate would generate $900,000. Without it, he says there would be layoffs in county government jobs.

Residents say the added tax will hurt people, especially those on fixed incomes.