Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 |
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• Taxes on way up
Taxes on way up
The May 19 The Garden Island article about County Council approval of the $122 million budget is loaded with friendly sounding statements like “a good portion of the funds” will go back to the community through the slashing of the land tax rate “significant tax relief to owners of commercial, hotel and resort, apartment and industrial properties” “spread around tax relief” and “moving toward a higher tax rate for buildings so longtime residents won’t be taxed off their land.”
But don’t be taken in by the optimistic spin used by our officials (the more glaring statements come from those whose identity is undisclosed).
Assuming the numbers used in the article are accurate, the coming year’s budget is rising about $19 million and property taxes are also increasing about $17 million. The talk about tax relief is hot air – everyone’s taxes are going up. Some more than others.
Overall, taxes for the 2005-2006 year will be about 32% higher than they are this year. Taxes for resident homeowners will rise only about 2% because of the caps enacted. This group pays less than 20% of the property taxes. So taxes for other taxpayers will on average rise about 40%. What the reduction in the rate for the land portion of the assessment does is to increase the taxes for owners with more than half of their assessment in buildings. These are the owners of commercial, hotel and resort, apartment and industrial properties that the spin mentioned above is trying to mislead. Owners of properties with mostly land values such as developers will have a lesser increase in their taxes. That is the inevitable effect of a relative reduction of land rates.
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