Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Coweta County Holding Millage Steady for 2009

The Coweta County Board of Commissioners voted last night to maintain or reduce the county’s millage rate for 2009.

“We are holding steady or, for the unincorporated area, slightly reducing the millage for 2009,” said Coweta County Commission Chairman Paul Poole. “We feel like it is extremely important that we keep our expenses to a minimum in the current economic market. Our citizens have tightened their belts and expect us to do the same – even while we invest in important infrastructure projects.”

This is the second year in a row that the Commission has either slightly reduced or kept the millage rate steady. The proposed rates are 7.66 for the incorporated areas, which is the same as last year, and 6.93 for the unincorporated areas, which is .05 mills less than last year. The net levy will increase by only $128,764 due to growth in the digest.

The difference in rates is due to the way insurance premium taxes are returned to the county and municipalities. Unincorporated property owners receive credit for the insurance premiums that are returned to the county. Cities and municipalities also receive this credit and can pass it along to their property owners on city tax bills.

Coweta citizens approved a $20 million Fire Bond last November that will vastly improve fire and public safety services in the county. The Fire bond will amount to roughly $28 in taxes for a $150,000 home. These dollars will be used to purchase new fire equipment, build two fire stations and purchase a new, countywide public safety communications system and should result in an improved ISO rating and lower insurance premiums for citizens.

Citizens in the unincorporated areas, along with the municipalities of Moreland, Turin and Sharpsburg, will see an additional line item on their tax bill for this fire bond. The municipalities of Grantville, Senoia and Haralson are participating in this Fire Bond as well and will include the cost on city tax bills.

The state has also made a change that will affect taxpayers. Since 1999, the Georgia General Assembly and the Governor have provided a credit on property tax bills called the Homeowners Tax Relief Grant (HTRG). In recent years, that credit resulted in a $200 - $300 reduction to property tax bills.

Due to financial strains on the state budget, the Georgia General Assembly and the Governor did not fund this credit for 2009 property tax bills. While the HTRG credit may someday be reinstated by the General Assembly, it is not expected to be considered again until state revenues increase significantly. Because of that credit not being funded, the average homeowner will have an increase on their tax bill.
Community News You Can Use
Follow us on Twitter: @gafrontpage

No comments: