Getting what we pay for? Maybe
Marion County residents hearing about a glowing report about how much value taxpayers get in return for the taxes weren’t too confident in the results this week.
According to SmartAsset, an online financial service company, the county ranks 10th in the state.
The rating is based on tax rates, school quality, and crime prevention.
Marion County is listed as having a property tax rate of 1.89 percent, a school rating of 8 of 10, and 1,081 crimes per 100,000 people, for an overall value index of 76.57.
Washington County received the top spot on the list, followed by Phillips, Dickinson, Norton, Marshall, Nemaha, Mitchell, Rice, and Coffey counties.
Not reflected on the list were such issues as roads.
“We don’t have great roads by any means,” said Mitch Carlson, co-owner of Carlsons’ Market in Marion. “There are no funds for rocks. They’ve had to cut back on graders. I’m not sure we’re getting a bang for our buck.”
Carlson said he thought road expenses were an issue for every county.
“We don’t know how much money they have to spend,” he said.
His wife, Suzi, said she hadn’t been here long enough to have much of an idea about bang for the property tax buck, but she thought motor vehicle taxes were higher in Marion County than in Johnson County, where she lived before.
“I’m surprised that we are ranked in the top 10,” Roger Hannaford of Security 1st Title said. “I do think we have very responsible people who try to spend our tax dollars the best way for us. I’m not sure they make the best decisions.”
Hannaford said he thought hiring a county administrator and a county engineer would result in better decisions.