Property Taxes Making Headlines Once Again

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Last week, property appraiser Rick Barnett flew to Tallahassee to try and roll back property evaluations to last year's values and add a two to three percent increase.

Instead, state revenue workers suggested rolling back the millage rate. The county commission has done that, dropping the millage by 1.5 mills.

Barnett was appreciative of that, but as for the assessments, he says they will come down some next year, but not as fast as you might think.

Rick Barnett said, "A lot of properties that are on the market are still on that big value, still trying to cash in, then they realize they're not gonna sell it until investors realize the market has somewhat bottomed, they're gonna stay out of the market, so we're gonna be back next year and if we don't have enough sales we're gonna try some innovative areas where we're gonna lower these values."

The commissioners have lowered the tax rate, but are frustrated the state isn't doing its part.

George Gainer, Bay County Commissioner, said, "I don't understand the state of Florida or anybody else not responding to the misery this tax situation has caused."

Barnett plans to head to Orlando next to deal with this issue. He says Bay County has a long way to come in order to retain and entice homeowners to the area.