By Anna DeWine-Bolton
XENIA — Greene County commissioners are looking into the possibility of reducing real estate taxes for 2018.
At the board meeting Tuesday morning, they discussed the idea of working with County Auditor David Graham for a reduction in the county’s share of real estate taxes.
“I think it’s time to do it,” Commissioner Alan Anderson said. “We’ve been in a pretty good place, our budget has gotten ahead through good management, and just the economy picking up.”
According to Commissioner Tom Koogler, .5 mills in real estate equates to about $1.5 million. Reducing real estate taxes by .5 mills would push that $1.5 dollars back into the community, into circulation, helping home owners and businesses.
During the meeting, the commissioners asked County Administrator Brandon Huddleson to look at the projected revenues for 2018 and to then work with Graham for a reduction.
“Right now we generate just under $10 million a year, and roughly 20 percent of our budget comes from property taxes,” Huddleson said.
The reduction would not be cash-back, but rather a reduction in taxes.
“We only want to collect the amount of taxes necessary to run the government and no more,” Huddleson said. “This puts more money back in the hands of the property owners.”
The commissioners agreed.
“I know that Bob, Tom and I are all of the opinion that it’s the residents’ money. They give it to us to use as needed but if we get ahead on it, you know, that’s a great opportunity,” Anderson said.
The group discussed what would happen if the economy turned in the wrong direction. Because the 2.5 mills in question is “inside millage,” getting back to the permitted taxable amount quickly would not be a problem. Huddleson says that an amount of money is also set aside so that the operations of the county wouldn’t be hurt in crisis.
“I think this is in the best interest of the county,” Anderson said.