Boyle County residents who own real estate will soon start paying a little more in taxes to help better fund the county health department.
The Fiscal Court unanimously voted Tuesday to raise the health tax from 2.4 cents per $100 real estate valuation to 2.5 cents.
Blevins said without the tax increase, the already short-staffed department would have to cut services. He said residents of neighboring counties typically pay about 4 cents per $100 of property valuation.
Magistrate Phil Sammons made the motion to accept Blevins’ proposal, and Magistrate Dickie Mayes seconded the motion.
In other business:
Near the beginning of the meeting, Magistrate Patty Burke led a non-denominational prayer that did not use terms related to Jesus Christ.
Magistrates had decided reluctantly Jan. 8 to change a long-standing tradition of public prayer at the beginning of meetings to a moment of silence. County resident Ricky Smith, a former Christian who is now an atheist, had pleaded with local officials to respect all people’s faiths or lack thereof by eliminating public prayer from Fiscal Court sessions. After a brief period of public outcry as well as legal research from County¿Attorney Richard Campbell, magistrates reversed their moment of silence decision on Feb. 26.
Magistrate Donnie Coffman will lead the prayer at the next meeting.
Boyle OKs slight increase in health tax
Boyle County Magistrates, from left, Jack Hendricks, John Caywood, Dickie Mayes and Phil Sammons are shown during Tuesday¿s Fiscal Court meeting.