|Some common misconceptions about County Government and Frequently Asked Questions:
- Do Property taxes pay for road maintenance, street resurfacing and new roads?
Road building and maintenance primarily are paid out of gasoline taxes, state shared revenue and transportation impact fees.
- County Commissioners should lower taxes for local governments like the School Board, Valparaiso, Mary Esther, Ft. Walton Beach, Cinco Bayou, Crestview, Shalimar, Niceville, Destin, Baker, and Northwest Florida Water Management District.
The County Commission has no control over the property taxes for the governments listed above; each of these governments has their own board that establishes property taxes.
- Does the County include the cost of water and sewer in the property tax bills?
The Utilities Fund for water and sewer is self-sufficient and generates one hundred percent (100%) of its revenue from user fees. No property taxes are used to support its operations.
- Are Property taxes are the primary source of income for the County?
During the 1995-1996 fiscal year, property taxes were less than seventeen percent (17%) of the total County budget.
- Are County corrections facility prisoners put to work?
Eighty percent (80%) of prisoners are awaiting trial and have not been convicted of a crime. These inmates may volunteer to work and do so inside the facility. Sentenced inmates are assigned to various work crews around the County.
- County Commissioners should exercise more control in establishing new programs.
The County Commission has very little control over many of the State and Federal programs they are required to fund, such as Public Safety (Courts and Jail) and Public Health and Welfare. Additionally, each Constitutional Office sets its own budget. The Board of County Commissioners must then raise the funding required to meet those expenditures not generated by fees.
- The County Commission has control over and should reduce the appraised value on my property.
The County Commission is only responsible for setting the millage rates it controls. The Property Appraiser establishes the assessed valuation on real property tax purposes. If an owner feels his or her valuation is incorrect, he or she should appeal to the Property Appraiser.