To the editor:
I have spent the past 24 hours contemplating Bill Ward’s letter to the editor which stated that his property taxes continue to increase yearly, and I feel I must respond. I will attempt to avoid the political undertones that were included in Mr. Ward’s letter and will only respond with facts and solid figures, which are all public records.
For those of you who may not know, Mr. Ward is a previous member of the Jasper County Board of Supervisors. He is fully aware that the supervisors only control the county portion of your tax bill.
I have checked the tax records on Mr. Ward’s personal property. In the 2005 tax year, his county tax share was $595.20. In the 2011 tax year, his county tax share was $568.77. That represents a roughly 4-percent decrease. That is after six years of increased county benefit costs, labor costs, material costs and a state-mandated increase in property valuations.
I then thought maybe Mr. Ward confused his total tax bill with just teh county share and maybe that is where he found the increase. I was surprised to see that his entire tax bill had also dropped from last year to this year.
I would also like to respond to the $1.2 million that was used to offset costs. The current Board of Supervisors has wored at holding down costs and saving tax dollars at every given opportunity. Through these efforts, the county’s budget reserve has grown steadily.
The current board chose to utilize part of the excess funds for property tax relief. For the most part, Jasper County residents have appreciated their county share of property taxes has decreased.
Denny Stevenson, Denny Carpenter and I have worked in a bipartisan manner to represent the interests of all Jasper County residents. Nobody has been more fiscally conservative over the past four years than Denny Stevenson.
No board has worked harder at holding the line on expenses and taxes than we have. Denny Stevenson has excelled at this position and deserves another four-year term.
In closing, I would like to ask the 25 individuals Mr. Ward mentioned in his article to check their past two years’ tax statements and compare their last year’s county share of taxes compared to this year’s. I am sure they will find their number has lowered, along with Mr. Ward’s.
Jasper County Board of Supervisors