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Highland leaders approve tax-rate increase

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HIGHLAND — Late Tuesday, Highland's City Council voted 3-1 to approve a property tax rate for its residents at 38 percent above the county's certified tax rate.

The decision came after concerns about increased taxes were expressed by a majority of the 60-plus residents who packed council chambers.

Many residents who spoke at the meeting said the city's proposed tax increase, which originally was nearly 54 percent, was too much.

Members of the City Council then adjusted the rate to include the county certified tax rate, plus the cost of improving the police and fire department for the next two years.

Tuesday's approved rating of 0.001390 for city-based property tax is actually 4.8 percent less than last year's certified tax rate, according to Highland City Manager Barry Edwards.

However, an increase in residents' property value as calculated by the county has resulted in an increase in overall property tax, thus, some residents could still be paying hundreds more.

Council members encouraged residents to take disputes of property value to the county for re-evaluation.