County commissioners agreed Monday to hike the property tax rate by more than 11 cents in 2016.
The rate would go from 34.83 cents to 46 cents per $100 valuation, and possibly higher.
That measure would generate nearly as much property tax revenue as the current budget year, or about $12 million, said County Auditor Linda Barnette.
At the same time, the county would use about $264,000 in reserves.
Commissioners, who will formally propose the new tax levy at a later date, agreed to the higher rate after property values fell nearly 25 percent this year. Most of the decrease was due to a loss of mineral values.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Larry Carter said the county had no choice but to raise the rate or reduce services.
Curtis Thrash, Precinct 1 commissioner, acknowledged that the new rate will mean higher property tax bills for both homeowners and farmers.