The Marion County Board of Supervisors reversed course Friday and voted 4-1 not to increase property taxes for the upcoming fiscal year.
The county had advertised for a potential 4.4-mill increase in the property tax rate that determines how much property owners pay on houses, businesses, land and car tags.
Concerned citizens voiced opposition, though, at a public hearing on Thursday and then for nearly an hour at the meeting Friday before the vote.
District 5 Supervisor Calvin Newsom then made a motion to pass the 4.4-mill tax increase, but the next few moments were silence as no other supervisor made a second, causing the motion to die.
An attempt to pass the budget yielded the same result.
County CPA Charlie Prince then addressed the board about different options they had. Each supervisor offered opinions.
Newsom said he believed the increase was absolutely necessary. District 3 Supervisor Tony Morgan said he did not feel right about doing an increase. District 4 Supervisor Raymon “Tater” Rowell said he felt like an increase was necessary, but both Districts 1 and 2 Supervisors Randy Dyess and Terry Broome said they did not feel comfortable about doing a tax increase with both of them leaving office at the end of the year.
Rowell then made a motion, which Dyess seconded, to approve the budget with no tax increase. It passed 4-1 with Rowell, Dyess, Morgan and Broome in favor and Newsom opposed.
The board will have next week to figure out how to balance its budget without the additional tax revenue.
For more details, see Thursday’s edition of the C-P.