BONIFAY - Property taxes may have remained the same for the past several years, but the value of homestead property is on a steady rise, according to Property Appraiser Otis Corbin, Jr.
"This year homestead has increased by one and a half percent," said Corbin. "There is an increase to 10-12 newly constructed houses per year in Holmes County. New houses have doubled this year compared to prior years; however that is because of a law that passed for all homestead property values to increase no more than three percent each year."
That law is the Save Our Homes Amendment, which was approved in 1992 as an assessment limitation on increases to protect assessed value, regardless how high the market values may increase. Corbin explained the intent is to protect homestead property owners from being "taxed out of their homes" when the market is increasing substantially.
He also states the benefit of SOH is that, over time, a homestead property owner will save a significant amount of money on taxes.
"There still are quite a few foreclosures in Holmes County," said Corbin. "Houses on the market are selling pretty quickly, especially if they are lower priced. Values have come back some, sales have increased and things are definitely better than what they were."
Commercial property, he explained, have not moved much at all in the last year.
"Coastal counties have changed a lot as far as sharp increases and declines," said Corbin. "It's just not the same case for inland counties. I'd also like to add that it is the county and school board who set the taxes; we just assess the value."
For more information, visit the Holmes County Property Appraiser's Office at http://www.qpublic.net/holmes/.