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Madison County Commission Discusses Property Tax

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

Taxpayers can rest easy in Madison County, because there will be good news for residents after the 2012 budget is ratified, said county commissioners.

The Madison County Commission has been working to adopt a tentative budget for many weeks and up until Monday morning's meeting, that budget has been reviewed and revised several times.

"We went over our tentative budget and we basically initially approved it this morning," said Gary Deaton, Madison County Commissioner.

Residents said raising property taxes is one of their biggest fears every time the Madison County budget is revised.

"I think it's hard enough, I think people are having a hard enough time having to pay what they pay now. It would be great if they didn't increase it," said county resident Sarah Givens.

In the budget meeting, commissioners managed to work out the budget without increasing county property taxes. County Mayor Jimmy Harris said he believes the property tax break is a milestone for commissioners.The property tax has not increased in Madison County for a record breaking 20 years, said commissioners.

" We are in good shape, I feel very good about it we are financially strong and we have a good strong budget," said Mayor Harris

When taxpayers have more dollars to spend, the county will ultimately benefit with more shopping through sale tax, said commissioners. Residents agreed saying they will shop more because their low property taxes help entice them to stay within Madison County.

"It had a big factor a very big factor in me staying in this county," said Givens.

Local real estate agents told 7 Eyewitness News they agree with commissioners as many residents have been house hunting inside the county to take advantage of the county's fixed property rates.

"We originally started out in the city and we ended up in the county because of taxes," said county resident Stephanie Graham.

Commissioners said that property taxes have dropped in Madison County since 1992 and that those tax breaks have helped many residents through tough economic times.

"It's extra money for things like college tuition, extra money for the baby, extra groceries, just extra money in the house that maybe we will be able to do other things with," said Graham.

"More money for residents to use for shopping and eating out, which will ultimately help boost the economy and county revenue," said Harris. Residents said they are happy their property taxes have remained steady here throughout the years.

"Thank you we appreciate that it keeps extra money in our pockets and makes life a little easier," said Graham.

This year's budget is expected to be officially ratified on June 29th.
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