If he were here, Mr. Fred Rogers would probably belt out, “It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?”

After all, final 2019 statistics indicate Franklin County saw a 4% increase — about $117 million more — in total real estate assessments from the previous year. In fact, the anticipated county tax revenue is projected to be roughly $219,000 more than 2018 and the county was also able to put $20 million in new commercial property on the tax rolls.

Those numbers — proof that the county is growing — are music to first-term Property Valuation Administrator Kellie Lang’s ears. This year, her office assessed the eastern-most quadrant of the county and found that some of the properties hadn’t been evaluated since 2008. State law requires the PVA to physically assess property every four years.

Lang credits the vast amount of new construction going on in the area as one reason sales are “out of the roof,” which is something Coldwell Banker Preferred Realty part-owner Lori Adkinson has also taken notice of. She said fewer homes were being built when the economy was bad, but lately the number of new homes being constructed has increased.

New home construction also creates a path for property owners to move up. The demand for the new, larger residences increases the market for new construction, and moving out of the smaller houses gives first-time homeowners the chance to buy property in the area.

Business growth is also booming in Franklin County. For example, after inspected, the addition of two new storage units a local distillery is building is expected to add approximately $15 million to next year’s tax rolls.

There is also more property changing hands. Already this year about 1,600 land transfers have been processed by Lang’s office. In 2018, a total of roughly 2,000 transfers were received for the whole year.

County growth is positive news for our community, which prompts us to ask, “Please, won't you be my neighbor?”

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