By REBECCA HAZEN
The Dade County Board of Commissioners held the first two out of three public hearings for the millage rate on Thursday, July 21.
Trenton currently has a millage rate of 10.733 in the city, and the county is proposing to go to 10.554 mills, which is a reduction. The unincorporated millage rate in the county is 8.000. That rate is proposed to stay the same.
A millage rate is the tax rate used to calculate local property taxes. The millage rate represents the amount per every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. Assigned millage rates are multiplied by the total taxable value of the property in order to arrive at property taxes. One mill equals 1/10 of one percent. The rate represents the amount a homeowner has to pay for every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value.
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 new digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced, had no reassessments occurred. Even if the millage rate is kept the same, it still results in additional property taxes collected, which is why Georgia state law requires a tax increase to be advertised.
“We did have to advertise a tax increase. The wording is taken from the state of Georgia. We have to put in everything that they say exactly. The reason why that has to happen is because we are collecting more money next year compared to this year. It’s not because of a millage rate increase, but it’s because of the property values in the county and our growth,” County Executive Ted Rumley explained.
Rumley continued, “This takes a lot of work and it’s a critical time. We’re in the top five of lowest millage rates in the whole state of Georgia.”
The state of Georgia requires all local governments, e.g. county, city and school boards, including other taxing authorities such as the Industrial Development Authority, to adopt a millage rate to pay for budgeted expenses – road maintenance, teacher salaries, ambulance services, maintaining fire trucks, and other emergency services, i.e. Emergency 911, Sheriff’s Office, Courts System, etc.
In the state of Georgia, two different values are looked at to determine the millage rate. These are market value and assessed value. Market value is the current estimated amount that property can be bought or sold. Assessed value is 40 percent of market value and is used as the basis for calculating the property tax levy (bill) in Georgia.
Here is an example of a property tax calculation: The market value of a property is $150,000, and the assessed value is $60,000, or 40 percent of market value. If the millage rate is 0.008, or eight mills, the annual property tax levy for that single parcel of property would be $480.
Each of the governing authorities considers the amount of money they need to raise to fund the budget through property tax revenue, considers the property tax value (or the overall digest value) in the county and determines the rate at which they must tax that real property value or the millage rate. Every governing authority decides its own millage rate, which can be seen on your tax bill.
The median property tax in Dade County is $592 per year for a home worth the median value of $123,400. Dade County collects, on average, 0.48 percent of a property’s assessed fair market value as property tax. The average yearly property tax paid by Dade County residents amounts to about 1.36 percent of their yearly income.
The third and last public hearing for the millage rate is on July 28 at 6 p.m. There will be a special called meeting at 6:30 p.m. on the 28th, for the Commissioners to consider adoption of the millage rate.
More information on the millage rate and the property tax digest can be found at www.dadecounty-ga.gov/DocumentCenter and then clicking on “Millage Rate.”