The Bulloch County Board of Commissioners have proposed increasing property taxes by a little more than 10%.
The proposed tax digest for 2022 was published Wednesday afternoon following the Commission meeting Tuesday night. The total represents an increase of 10% over 2021 and 7% more than the rollback rate.
The increase, however, is necessary, according to Commissioners who say funding is needed to meet specific goals that include maintaining service levels in light of rising costs for goods and services.
“More importantly, the Fiscal Year 2023 budget proposal provides additional resources urgently needed for law enforcement and the County jail, judicial support, and other services to meet the needs of a growing population.”
According to the county:
The inflationary growth in reassessed properties that occurred during the past year is caused by three factors:
- from properties such as apartments, offices, and stores assessed according to net income earned in proportion to their property values, which has grown faster than the inflation rate – a frequent occurrence in a recovering economy;
- from increased sales prices from housing transactions; and,
- from distressed properties which are sold and assessed at the discounted sales price for the first year, and then reassessed at fair market value after that, by a mechanism of a state law passed in 2010.
The additional ad valorem property tax generated represents approximately seven percent (7.06%) in revenue growth. This level of increase is at or below past and current measures of inflation.
According to state law, for Bulloch County to legally claim it isn’t raising taxes for 2022, it would have to reduce the current millage rate of 11.600 mills to a rollback rate of 10.602 mills. Bulloch County will reduce the current general millage rate from 11.60 mills to 11.35 mills. State law requires the tax increase notice to state that the 11.35 millage rate would cost an additional $51.76 for taxpayers whose home was worth $175,000 in 2022, depending on their use of a homestead exemption. It is more accurate to state that the millage rollback would save homeowners these amounts rather than if the current millage rate stayed the same.
The first public hearing on the increase will be held on Tuesday, August 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the Bulloch County Annex. All meetings are open to the public and commissioners will receive public feedback at that time.
The Board of Education announced last week that it also plans to increase taxes by more than 5%. Three hearings are scheduled for the Board of Education as well, al beginning next week.