County officials set to finalize one-mill tax increase

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

Spalding County officials on Thursday received from Tax Commissioner Sylvia Hollums the final numbers for the Fiscal Year 2014 tax digest, upon which the millage rate will be set.

Following budget hearings that were at times contentious, county commissioners in late June set the FY 2014 budget based upon a one-mill increase.

“You don’t actually set the millage rate until this time of year when the digest comes in. You set the budget without knowing what the tax digest is going to be,” Spalding County Manager William Wilson said in early September. “They (commissioners) haven’t voted on a tax increase; they voted on a budget that will probably require a tax increase.”

Having now received the tax digest from Hollums, Wilson said it was much as county officials expected.

“It came in at just about where we anticipated it would,” he said. “It looks like we’re going to adopt the mill rate. It’s going to be a one-mill increase – 16.01.”

Wilson explained that the millage rate cannot be set until the tax digest comes in, and the tax digest cannot be finalized until the deadline for property tax appeals has passed. Assessments were mailed to all Spalding County residents July 8, and the deadline for filing an appeal expired in late August.

“We developed a budget that anticipated property taxes for the general fund at $22,342,003,” he said, adding that the county sets the millage rate based on the current year’s budget.

Wilson said he is now in the process of determining the dates for the mandated public hearings and a special-called meeting during for the purpose of finalizing the budget.

He said he has not yet set the dates for the three mandatory public hearings that will be held prior to the final adoption of the millage rate, but the date for that special-called Board of Commissioners meeting has been set for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30. Ω

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