Public speaks to City Council on proposed millage rate

Published 7:53 pm Tuesday, August 6, 2019

City Council held a public hearing on the proposed millage rate Tuesday evening, where Bainbridge residents could ask questions and understand the changes going into effect.

The City is required to advertise the millage rate, however during the public hearing the Council made it clear they do not plan to raise the rate, but individual’s taxes may change based on their current home’s value.

Grace Moorhead questioned “why?” during the public hearing.

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Mayor Edward Reynolds explained the tax assessor values the home. He said the assessor goes by the value in the county, but sometimes the real estate market changes the value. If the market goes up, the house may become worth more and be valued at a higher rate than last year.

Moorhead then questioned if a resident had work done on their home after the hurricane, such as getting a new AC unit or roof, if it would cause a rise in their taxes.

Reynolds explained he was unsure if that was case, and would need to be discussed personally with the tax assessor. Reynolds said everyone should get a letter about their home’s value in the mail that will say if their value increased, decreased or remained the same.

Moorhead then asked for clarity on if her home value did increase, what would be the new tax value.

City Manager Chris Hobby explained how the property tax works with the appraised value.

“In Georgia, property is taxed at 40 percent of its appraised value. This means that if you have a $100,000 home, you are taxed on $40,000 of that value. A mill is the tax charged per $1,000 of value, so to figure your individual tax rate you multiply your assessed value by .40, then divide the 40% value by 1000 and then multiply by the millage rate,” he said.

Hobby was able to pull up Moorhead’s home and told her she would see a very small change of approximately $2.90 in her bill.

Reynolds reiterated that the millage rate is not changing, but if the value of the home changes then the tax will change.

Resident Brown Moseley had additional questions about the figure of increased revenue rising. Reynolds explained that the entire tax digest went up for the city, so only will the people who have an assessed value increase see a change.

With all questions answered, the public hearing closed. Their will be an additional public hearing for residents who have questions held on August 20, at 6:30 p.m. in City Council chambers.