Thursday, November 26, 2015         

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City Council advances property tax relief measure

By BJ Reyes, Star-Advertiser


A City Council committee today advanced a measure granting a tax rebate or credit to a “gap group” of homeowners who saw significant increases in property tax bills due to a reclassification of their property from residential to commercial/industrial.

The proposal, Resolution 10-260, was approved today by the budget committee and now goes before the full Council next week at its regular monthly meeting for final approval.
Officials said 247 residents were affected by the reclassifications.

Residents had testified that although they received the reclassification notice, there was no indication that the tax bill would quadruple, changing the tax rate from the residential rate of $3.42 per $1,000 of valuation to the commercial/industrial rate of $12.40.

One resident said his bill went from $2,335  to $10,552.

Under the resolution, affected residents would pay the residential rate of either $3.42 for owner-occupants or $3.58 for non-occupant homeowners.

Residents who already paid their property taxes could opt for a refund of the difference or a tax credit in that amount.

The tax rebate/credit is only available to those residents who already have applied to dedicate the property for residential use. Officials said 226 of the affected property owners had submitted the applications by the Sept. 1 deadline.

Residents also must certify that the property was in residential use during the last tax year and be granted dedication for residential use in the upcoming tax year.

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