XENIA — Greene County Commissioners April 6 voted to approve a .5 mill property tax reduction, which will save property owners a collective $1.9 million.
The change will drop the current amount of inside millage received from 2.5 mills to 2 mills for tax year 2017, to be paid out in 2018. Property owners will pay .5 mill less than normal.
County Administrator Brandon Huddleson said the decision for the reduction came as a result of many budget discussions, considering current revenues, expenses, and projections for the future.
According to a release, the largest component of the county’s budget — sales tax revenue — has continued to grow at a steady rate. That, coupled with the amount of residential and commercial construction in the county, enabled the commissioners to provide this tax relief.
“The commissioners simply wanted to provide some savings to the residents of Greene County,” Huddleson said. “Our revenues are greater than our expenses and they are thrilled to be able to take a little less from our citizens.”
At the regular meeting, the board members agreed that a roll back was best for residents.
“Taxes always seem to go up and I think we’ve all seen that real estate taxes always seem to increase the most,” Commissioner Alan Anderson said. “I don’t think any of us want to take any more money from taxpayers than we need … This is an opportunity to give the benefit back to the taxpayer.”
According to Commissioner Tom Koogler, the board initially looked for a reduction of taxes two years ago through a rebate program, which didn’t work out, and then again through a grant approach.
“Recently as cash carry-over continued to grow, it was obvious that money wasn’t doing the county any good sitting in the bank. It wasn’t our money, it was the taxpayers’ money. We had an obligation to give that money, what we didn’t need, back to the taxpayers,” Koogler said.
Commissioner Bob Glaser credited the reduction to county employees’ hard work, elected officials managing their budgets efficiently, and teamwork overall.
“We’re trying to run the county like a business, not a government bureaucracy,” he said.
Looking past 2018, related decisions will be made on a year-to-year basis.