Bay County Commissioners Cut Taxes

By: Sabrina Zimring
By: Sabrina Zimring

8/30/06 - Dozens of Bay County homeowners showed up at City Hall this morning with signs in hand, asking Bay County commissioners to cut their property taxes.

This isn't the first time commissioners have come together to discuss the rollback, but it is the first time they've taken action.

Bay County commissioners have spent the last month struggling to find a way to give you a break on your property taxes.

Inflated property values and high insurance rates have taken a toll on the average citizen.

Tuesday, Panama City commissioners made the first move. They cut their millage by 8/10ths of a mil, saving a homeowner about 80 bucks on a $100,000 home, and today came more relief.

"When you start looking at those trim notices, it's obvious there is a problem. I would second Commissioner Gainer’s motion to get these folks some immediate relief."

The commission voted 5-0 to cut 1.5 mils off the general millage and an additional quarter mil from the fire district. Members of Bay Tax Watch, the newly formed organization backing a tax break, say they're relieved.

"This movement has influenced taxing. It's very significant. It's the first time in 16 years we've seen a roll back. To their credit, they listened to the people and did something about it."

With the combined cutbacks, a Panama City homeowner could save more than $230 on a $100,000 home, but some commissioners are concerned this relief may be short lived.

The motion comes after a failed attempt to meet with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the Department of Revenue to ask permission to reappraise inflate property.

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