By Max Hrenda
Before the Carter County Commission votes on next year’s budget, two county office-holders used one word to describe how proposed cuts to their budgets could affect the county.
That word? “Disaster.”
On Wednesday morning, during a meeting of the county’s Financial Management Committee, Assessor of Property Ronnie Taylor and County Trustee Randal Lewis asked that the commission reconsider cutting their offices’ budgets by 5 percent.
These cuts, according to Lewis and Taylor, would prevent the purchase and delivery of tax notices to the property owners of Carter County.
“For the taxpayer not to get a notice, it will be a disaster,” Taylor said. “You’re talking about people that wait to get their notice, and the first thing they do is come and pay their tax. It’s going to create a mess all the way around.”
“I would like to ask this committee, along with the Budget Committee and the whole commission, to supply the trustee’s office and the assessor’s office with the funds to have them printed and mailed off,” Lewis said. “I think it would be a disaster if (the county) could not supply that to our taxpayers.”
According to Deputy Trustee Gloria Colbaugh, the county collects approximately 95 percent of property taxes each year, and each year, tax notices have been delivered. By the end of last fiscal year – June 30, 2012 – property taxes totaled $17,890,407, including property deletions and pickups.
By June 30 of this year, $16,997,331.41 of these taxes were collected by the trustee’s office. But, Colbaugh added that, because the county has always mailed notices, it would be difficult to predict how tax collections would be affected without them.