COFFEE COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — In the fiscal year 2022, Coffee County saw a record amount of property taxes collected.

The county’s longtime property appraiser credits the increase to inflation.

Property appraiser Ronnie Burns says the skyrocketing cost of homes, construction materials, and properties has led to a large increase.

In his 2022 property tax report to the Coffee County Commission Property appraiser, Ronnie Burns says he’s never seen such an increase in revenue and property taxes. Burns first took office in 1978, some 45 years ago.

The county took in $3.2 million more than in 2021 overall, he says the county saw an increase of 15%-20% percent due to the increase in housing prices and construction materials.

“It’s all caused by inflation if you want to get down to it the cost of materials and the cost of houses has gone up immensely in the last two years. Now, it’s started going down but it takes longer for it to go down than it did for it to go up,” says Burns.

Coffee County Commission Chairman Dean Smith says it’s a double-edged sword. Yes, it’s great to see an increase in property tax revenue, but it has a downside.

“When you start adding 100 or 200 dollars to your property tax, it begins to show up and start slowing the economy down and it will. You will start having to use that money for your taxes instead of for the family,” says Smith.

Burns says the property tax revenues are across the county everywhere from Enterprise, Elba, and even smaller communities like Kinston.

“The nicer neighborhoods got a little more increase. The lower neighborhoods got a lesser increase, but it’s all based on value,” says Burns.