EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Finances became a main focus in a late June meeting of the East Ellijay City Council as they addressed the city’s tax exemption and the new intergovernmental SPLOST referendum.
While simply continuing what has been in effect for East Ellijay for years, the city still needed an official motion for continuing the 3.5 mills on the rate as well as the longtime waiving of personal property tax of citizens as well as the commercial tax for all entities and individuals owning or operating businesses in the city limits.
Approved by the council, the city continues this practice throughout its coming fiscal year.
The Council also approved the new SPLOST split presented by the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners. Moving East Ellijay’s percentage from 1.93% to 2.0%. Noted in the meeting for the council members. East Ellijay Mack West spoke with the council about the meetings he attended and the slight change in percentage.
The Council summarily motioned and approved the agreement. As reported when the referendum was made ready for city approvals, citizens could be looking to see this vote in this year’s election cycles.
ELLIJAY, GA – The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners have officially adopted the 6.983 Millage Rate.
The final vote came 2-1 with Chairman Charlie Paris being the dissenting vote. Later he told FYN there was very little difference between the Rollback Rate and current Millage Rate. “If we stick with the current rate instead of the rollback rate you have to advertise it as a tax increase. I disagree with that. I feel its not. So, my feeling is I did not want the people of Gilmer County to see that we are raising their taxes. I don’t like a tax increase… I wanted to set the Rollback Rate and move on.”
The official motion to adopt came from Post Commissioner Travis Crouch who stated, “I listened to the Special Called Meeting and both arguments and perspectives… At the end of the day, I find, at the end of the day, that the points that Dallas made are compelling in our situation. So, I feel like keeping the Millage Rate where it has been for the past two years is appropriate for our situation.”
This will make the third year in a row that the millage rate has been at 6.983. Previously, it sat at 7.224 before that.
After the motion was seconded, Post Commissioner Dallas Miller opted to comment on the action before votes were cast. “I hope that something as serious as this, as what we decide on property taxes, should not be, [sic] and I’m just going to ask the public to not make this a political issue. This is a financial decision we need to make. We need to do, to the best of our knowledge, what we think is best for our county.”
ELLIJAY, GA – Two meetings in July have tentatively set the tax future for Gilmer County.
The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting to discuss the Rollback Rate of 6.617 and the County’s decision on its millage. During the meeting. their discussion centered around a $291,048 loss to the budget if the Rollback Rate was approved. However, since the meeting, FYN has discovered that a recalculation could mean a drastically different number with the Rollback.
Commissioner Chairman Charlie Paris stated in the meeting that while he was used to Rollback Rates coming with a roughly $30,000 loss to the budget, but the nearly $300,000 loss would be a serious hit to the county.
Post Commissioner Travis Crouch made note of serious issues the County is still facing including rising insurance costs and the Lower Cartecay Road Bridge that needs replacing. Currently, Director Jim Smith has not been able to obtain additional funding for the bridge.
However, with the new information of a recalculated rate, a new meeting is being called for the Commissioners to revisit the discussion with the newer information.
On the Board of Education side, the calculated Rollback Rate suggested 16.24 as the Rollback Rate. Recommending the process to begin with advertising the rate, Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes said, after extended discussion with the Board, she was recommending a rate lower than the Rollback at 16.12.
As the meeting moved forward discussing the rate, the final vote came to approve advertising for the rate at 16.12. However, the vote split at 3-1 with Board Member Nick Weaver as the dissenting vote. Board Member Ronald Watkins was absent from the meeting and did not vote.
FYN caught up with Weaver to ask about his vote. Weaver stated, “I think it should be lower.”
With the lower rate, the BOE should see taxes decrease by $392,870 according to the Board’s documentation.
ELLIJAY, GA – Coinciding with the “Commissioner’s Discussion of the Millage Rate After Recalculation“, the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners have released the following documents informing citizens of the Millage Rate and their opportunity to speak at public meetings about it. Also, be sure to check out the Current 2017 Tax Digest and Five Year History of the Levy for more information on the Millage Rate and the Agenda for the Special Called Meeting on August 17 to see the final meeting planned for adopting the Millage Rate.
PRESS RELEASE ANNOUNCING A PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX INCREASE
Each year, the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners is required to review the assessed value for property tax purposes of taxable property in the county. When the trends of prices on properties that have recently sold in the county indicate there has been an increase in the fair market value of any specific property, the Board of Tax Assessors is required by law to re-determine the value of such property and adjust the assessment. This is called a reassessment.
When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires that a rollback millage rate must be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred.
Gilmer County Board of Commissioners has made the decision to keep the 2017 Maintenance and Operation (M& O) millage rate at 6.983 mills which is the same as the 2016 millage rate. However since this millage rate exceeds the calculated rollback millage rate it is deemed a tax increase for 2017. Before the Board can set a final millage rate, Georgia law requires three public hearings to be held to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the increase.
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held at the Gilmer County Jury Assembly Room located on the 2nd floor of the Gilmer County Courthouse, 1 Broad Street, Ellijay, Georgia on August 10, 2017 at 5:00pm and August 17, 2017 at 9:00am and 6:30pm.
Notice of Property Tax Increase
The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners has tentatively adopted a Maintenance and Operation (M&O) millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 1.94 percent.
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held at the Gilmer County Courthouse Jury Assembly Room on August 10, 2017 at 5:00pm.
Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase are at the Gilmer County Courthouse Jury Assembly Room on August 17, 2017 at 9:00am and 6:30pm.
This tentative increase will result in a Maintenance and Operation (M&O) millage rate of 6.983 mills, an increase of .133 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 6.850 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $150,000 is approximately $7.71 and the proposed tax increase for a non-homestead property with a fair market value of $75,000 is approximately $3.99.
A Special Called meeting for the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners turned into an impromptu Budget Discussion Friday.
The so called budget discussion followed the Commissioners discussing the Millage rate and approving their advertisement for the rate. The rate which will be advertised as 6.983 mills on the Maintenance and Operations Millage and then 1.5 mills on the Bond Millage Rate.
The Commissioners spent over two hours discussing different options for the Millage Rate. Ultimately, the Commissioners came down to two Scenarios. Scenario A was to accept the rollback rate which would include a slight decrease of close to $30,000 in the County’s revenues, which, according the Chairman Charlie Paris, accumulates over the last several years as the county has continually accepted rollback rates with property value increases. Scenario B was to set the M&O (Maintenance and Operations) to 6.983 mills and the Bond Millage Rate to 1.5 mills.
Post 1 Commissioner Dallas Miller articulated worries over the County’s Economy and Market Values and the instability of those in the future.
Post Commissioner Travis Crouch also commented saying the issue is not the budget, but the county’s many departments who are understaffed and ill-equipped. The Commissioners refused further budget cuts to employees and staff indicating that more staff cuts would eventually lead to certain services to the county being shut down.
Crouch also presented his personal research to the Board about the County’s current position in the state with regards to taxation. As you see these documents, your first tab will show the county’s in alphabetical order, the second tab indicates the county’s ordered by the lowest mill rates with Gilmer at position 19 of the 159 listed counties. Scan the third tab for a population comparison and the last two tabs for Board of Education inclusion who separately set their Millage Rate. You can also follow FYN’s story of Gilmer’s Board of Education Setting their Millage Rate.
As you follow the advertised increase, the Commissioner’s consulted Gilmer Tax Commissioner Rebecca Marshall when asked what this would mean to an average taxpayer. The final amount that average taxpayer will currently expect to see on their bill is an increase of $33.72 per $100,000 of Fair Market Value.
The approval that came from the Commissioners on Friday will begin the process as they advertise the rates and the public meetings to discuss them.
The Gilmer County Board of Education has issued their press release for the 2016 Millage Rate.
Stating in their Release,
Gilmer County Board of Education has made the decision to keep the 2016 millage rate at 16.62 mils which is the same as the 2015 millage rate. However since this millage rate exceeds the calculated rollback millage rate, it is deemed a tax increase for 2016. Before the Board can set a final millage rate, Georgia law requires three public hearings to be held to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the increase.
While this is only the beginning of the process to adjust the taxes for the set Millage Rate, the Gilmer County Board of Education is moving forward quickly through the month to hold the three public hearings for Gilmer’s Citizens. The Board went a little more in depth to explain the Millage as well as the public meetings for it.
The Gilmer County Board of Education has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 6.14 percent. All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held at Gilmer County Schools Administrative & Technology Office on August 18 at 10:00 AM and 6:15 PM. Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase are at Gilmer County Schools Administrative & Technology on August 25 at 5:00 PM. This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 16.62 mills, an increase of .961 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 15.659 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $150,000 is approximately $144.15 and the proposed tax increase for nonhomestead property with a fair market value of $75,000 is approximately $72.08.
On the other side of the Millage Rate, follow FYN’s coverage of the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners Millage Rate.