The Pope County Board of Commissioners adopted its preliminary budget and property tax levy for 2021 at its regular Board meeting on Tuesday. After a careful review of requested expenditures by County management and outside entities, the Board adopted a preliminary property tax levy for 2021 of $9,361,058, which is the same amount that was levied for 2020.

Because the preliminary property tax levy can only remain the same or decrease at the time of the final budget adoption later this year, the Board’s action means the property tax levy in the County will remain the same or be less than the prior year’s levy for the fourth year in a row.

Since the adoption of a $9,431,796 levy by the Board in 2017, the County’s property tax levy remained at the same amount with no increase for years 2018 and 2019, and then was lowered by the Board by 0.75% to $9,361,058 for year 2020.

The total 2021 preliminary budget for 2020 was set at $18,822,119, a decrease of about 4.4% from the total budget adopted for 2020.

At the same meeting, the Board of Commissioners set the County’s annual Truth-in-Taxation Hearing for 6 p.m. Thursday, December 3 at the Pope County Courthouse Community Room. This public meeting is held after taxation notices are issued to property owners in the fall, where budget and tax issues are discussed, and public input on the County’s preliminary budget and levy may be given before the Board’s final budget is adopted. Separate hearings are also held by other local governments, such as school districts and cities over 500 in population, at which the public may given input on those governments’ preliminary levies and budgets.