Is a Tax Break in Lynn Haven's Future?

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Panama City got the property tax rollback ball rolling Tuesday. Bay County commissioners cut the rates Wednesday. Now it looks like Lynn Haven may be next in line, but don't expect a huge cut.

Lynn Haven Mayor Walter Kelley says he'd like to see the millage drop from 4 mils to 3.9 mils, a one-tenth of a mill rollback.

Walter Kelley said, "I could not support going lower because of the increase in gas prices, parts, everything is going up. We don't want to get the city in the position we were in eight years ago."

Even with a one-tenth of a mil drop, the city will take in $936,000 more than they did last year due to higher property values.

"There are still a lot of extra taxes we're receiving, but we still have a lot of infrastructure we're working on; replace water and sewer lines and roads within the city."

Some Lynn Haven homeowners have seen a 50 percent increase in their home's value. You'd think with higher insurance rates and other cost of living issues, those homeowners would disagree with their mayor. But that's not necessarily the case.

"I don't mind to pay more taxes because you benefit from it, but when they increase it too much people can't afford it. Between electric, bills, people can't afford it."

Venus Weaver, a homeowner, said, "Lynn Haven does a good job of keeping up with the area, so sometimes you have to pay more for what you get."

But Weaver admits the whole appraised property value thing is a bit confusing.

"It makes me question whether my home is worth it, because it went up so much, it just doesn't make sense. They didn't look at the inside of the house or property around it."

Lynn Haven commissioners have two budget hearings scheduled for September 12 and 26. Lynn Haven homeowners with questions or concerns about property tax can call City Hall at 265-2121.