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Know Your Meetings!!!!!!

December 4, 2008 - Jennifer Brookens
The beginning of December is a reporters' cross to bear, as most of our small towns, cities, school boards and counties have their "Truth in Taxation" public hearings. Yes, it sounds dull. Even the board members presenting the information will admit that. Usually it's us reporters and one or two other people that make up the audience. And it never fails: one of those people start to take on the board about an issue that has nothing to do with what the hearing is meant to address.

To clarify: truth in taxation has NOTHING to do with: * the estimated market value on your property. * why your income tax statement has gone up or down * if that street work that happened over the summer made your home value double. * anything to do with your personal property/tax assessments * what those "clowns in Congress have done this time..."

What the truth in taxation hearings are for is to confirm/finalize what the county (or city/school board) budget is set at for the upcoming year. It is not the time to address each individual's tax situation. In fact, those situations are not even ones that are usually dealt with by the board firsthand. These "truth in taxation" meetings are usually very short, straightforward, and even enlightening... as long as those in attendance understand what is - and isn't - up for discussion.


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