During hearings at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday, no residents or property owners spoke against the on-average 2.25% increase in Statesboro city property tax resulting from reassessments and the proposed lack of a millage-rate rollback.
The third required hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. next Tuesday, at the start of the regular City Council meeting, during which the council can adopt the final millage rate.
With the mayor and council holding the city’s rate at 7.308 mills – the same level as for the past three years – instead of adopting a rollback rate of 7.147 mills, some property owners’ taxes will rise because of upward adjustments in appraised values by the Bulloch County Board of Tax Assessors.
The 2.25% is an average, since reassessments vary with location. The city’s notices stated that the increase amounts to approximately $7.73 on a home with a fair market value of $125,000 with a homestead exemption or $8.05 on a $125,000 property with no exemption.
Under a 20-year-old Georgia law called the Property Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, local governments must adopt a rollback rate to offset inflationary growth in assessed property values or announce a tax increase and hold three hearings.
The Bulloch County Board of Commissioners held tax increase hearings in mid-August and kept the county government millage unchanged at 11.833 mills, instead of adopting a rollback rate of 11.676 mills. That resulted in an average 1.34% increase in the county tax from inflation in property values. The county’s notices cited the examples of a $150,000 home with a homestead exemption, with a $9.11 higher tax this year, and a $150,000 property with no homestead exemption, whose tax would be $9.42 higher.
But the Bulloch County Board of Education on Aug. 13 adopted a rollback rate of 8.918 mills for the school-funding portion of county taxes, down from last year’s rate of 9.038 mills, and so had no need to hold tax increase hearings.