Editor’s Note: This article was developed from the Commissioner’s Meeting held May 21, 2019. M From information buried deep in the 2019-2020 Budget Presentation. I sat up front, listened closely and found many things of interest and concern. This article describes just one of them. Stay tuned for many more.
If you are a regular reader, you will recall a previous article where I described how the Cleveland County Commissioners, led by the defeated and disgraced Commissioner Eddie Holbrook, held taxpayers ransom for close to eight years with an artificially high bill. As I explained your property tax bill is a combination of the TAX RATE and your property value as EVALUATED by the county.
What the Commissioners did after the recession that started in 2008; they refused to re-evaluate the property to the lower fair market values during the recession years. By keeping the evaluations artificially high and using the existing tax rate, your tax bill remained artificially high. And for those that didn’t lose your homes, like many did, $Millions of your tax money was secretly skimmed off into the American Legion World Series Baseball’s financial fiasco that Eddie Holbrook was the head of. And, all the while, the commissioners were falsely claiming that they did NOT raise taxes. Meaning they did not raise the tax RATE, although they were charging you with an artificially high property evaluation.
Only when the State requirement is to re-evaluate property every eight years, do you get a fair break on your property tax bill. TAX BILL, that is the money out of YOUR pockets. That is what you will actually see. The tax rate is just a talking point for the commissioners. For simplicity, I won’t even talk about the other taxes; town tax, school tax, fire tax, etc. that commissioners don’t even talk about, but are also added to your tax bill. Even though they are all taxes that the commissioners siphon out of you pockets or checkbooks. Maybe we will talk about those other taxes at another time.
Now that property values have recovered a bit, the commissioners are planning to do another evaluation in 2021 to take advantage of an opportunity to take even more out of taxpayer pockets. This 2021 re-evaluation is much sooner than the eight years maximum time between evaluations as required by the State.
So, the commissioners are back to their old tricks. Fleecing all us stupid tax payers. And probably still secretly funding the ALWS Baseball. Somebody is as the Shelby High School Baseball field is going to have another $Million or so in re-sodding the field, installing astro-turf or something very expensive. All the while Burns and Crest gets nothing.
The only thing I wonder about is why the commissioners are waiting until 2021 to do their re-evaluation of property values?? Is it the 2020 Elections? Are they still secretly funding the ALWS Baseball? Are they expecting us voters to be so stupid as to re-electing “Massa Eddie” back as a Commissioners, or just what? The only thing certain is I will be watching!! Asking questions and Telling all y’all what I find out!!
Editor’s Note Number 2: Like I said previously, the 2021 Property Re-Evaluation proposal was a part of the 2019-2021 Budget Proposal. It was only barely touched-on during the commissioner’s meeting and no commissioner had any questions about it during the meeting. That means the commissioners have been talking about this among themselves behind closed doors. Or in clusters with the County Manager. All bad practices and probably illegal.