Property tax rate holds fast as County Commission wraps up 2021 budget

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Posted September 18, 2020 | By Bill Thompson, Deputy Editor

Marion County commissioners followed through on an earlier promise to keep the property tax rate steady.

On Thursday night, the board finalized the fiscal year 2021 budget by adopting a base rate $4.42 per $1,000 of taxable value. All property owners countywide pay that. It means the owner of a home valued at $100,000 for tax purposes would pay $442.

The board also held constant the rates applied by the various special tax districts that apply either to all residents of unincorporated Marion County, such as those that support the Sheriff’s Office  or within certain communities, such as Marion Oaks, Silver Springs Shores and Rainbow Lakes Estates.

The commission’s decision does not apply to the cities around the county nor to other taxing authorities, such as the School Board or the state water management districts.

Yet despite the commission’s commitment to maintain the status quo, many, if not most, homeowners still might see higher tax bills.

That’s because of increasing property values.

The overall value of property throughout Marion County jumped 7.8 percent this year. The rates of increase can vary by where in the county people live, though.

The county’s 2021 spending plan totals $833 million, which includes those special tax districts.

The hearing was also the last budget meeting for Clerk of the Court David Ellspermann, Commissioner David Moore and longtime county Budget Director Michael Tomich.

Ellspermann, a Republican, is retiring after 24 years as court clerk and county comptroller.

Sheriff Billy Woods helped the commission recognize Ellspermann by making him an honorary Marion County deputy. That was in recognition of Ellspermann’s early work as a police officer.

Clerk-elect Greg Harrell, also a Republican, will take over for him in January.

Moore leaves the board in November after serving two terms. He lost the GOP primary was unsuccessful in a bid to be the next county property appraiser last month.

Tomich also is retiring, effective Sept. 30, after 29 years of managing the county’s budget.




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