Kent County Equalized Property Values Continue To Rise

June 5, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — The new equalized value for real and personal property in the 35 communities in Kent County is $17.2 billion, up 8.2 percent from $15.9 billion last year. The taxable value of all property is $15.4 billion, up 7 percent from $14.4 billion last year.

Real property, which includes commercial, industrial and residential properties, has an equalized value of $15.3 billion, while the personal property total is nearly $1.9 billion.

The chart below lists the county equalized value for the commercial, industrial and residential properties in the six biggest cities. These figures are followed by the total for the entire county and the taxable amount. Numbers are presented in thousands (000) of dollars.

The county equalized value for agricultural property is just short of $200 million, and is almost $3.7 million for developmental property.

The county expects to collect about $85.5 million in tax revenue this year, an amount that accounts for nearly 23 percent of its total revenue. The county budget is $386 million. Of that total, $327 million is for operations and $59 million is for capital expenses.

The county has $8 million in reserve, marked Not For Use, and $59 million that is undesignated and not reserved.

“We have a fiscal policy that has set aside 10 percent of the subsequent year’s operating budget as a designation in the event that there is a crisis that we need to assist one of the departments with,” said Dave Waichum, county fiscal services director.

“We also have a fiscal policy on debt service where we set aside 25 percent of next year’s general long-term debts. We also set aside a designation for employment compensation. That leaves us with an undesignated amount of $59 million,” he added.

Kent County Chairman Steve Heacock pointed out that the county’s millage rate of 5.34 mills is well below the state average, which he said tops 7 mills. He explained the county follows a prudent conservative fiscal policy, and doesn’t spend more than it collects.

Kent County Administrator Daryl Delabbio added that following this fiscal policy has allowed the county to maintain a triple-A bond rating from both Moody’s Investor Services and Standard & Poor’s.

Last year marked the first time the county received the highest rating from both services.

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