Hancock Fiscal Court will soon be considering a change in its property and occupational taxes.

Judge-Executive Johnny "Chic" Roberts Jr. said the current plan is to decrease property tax rates, but increase occupational taxes.

"We're trying to look at a creative way to entice people," Roberts said. "In services and equipment with rising costs, we're looking at ways to increase revenue."

Currently, the property tax rates in Hancock County stand at 5.6 cents per $100. At the current rates, the property taxes on a $100,000 home would stand at $560.

While the exact numbers have yet to be decided upon, Roberts said he is looking at around a 25% decrease in the property tax rate.

Roberts also said that one thing to remember is that the county does not control the entire property tax bill.

Each portion is controlled by different county entities, such as libraries and public schools, and another portion is controlled by the state itself.

Roberts is also hoping to change the occupational tax rates in Hancock County. Currently, the rates stand at 1.25% per $100, or just over $1.

With the occupational tax changes, Roberts said he is looking into either a .25% increase or a .35% increase.

"We're a regional employer and we're blessed to have a large amount of industry," Roberts said. "A lot of our people travel in, so a lot of our employment is outside the county."

Roberts said these tax changes have not yet been made official. A formal recommendation must occur and the fiscal court must vote on the tax changes for it to become law.

"We have volunteer fire departments; so we don't even have a paid fire department," Roberts said. "So, at the very least, we need to provide them the equipment they need to do their jobs. With increased costs, this is just one of the options we're looking at."

Jack Dobbs, 270-691-7360, jdobbs@messenger-inquirer.com

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