The Douglasville City Council is expected to adopt millage rates for Fiscal Year 2018 on Thursday that could lead to higher taxes for many property owners in the city.
The $27.4 million budget passed by the council in June was based on the city’s maintenance and operations millage rate staying at 6.911 mills, which is 4.38 percent over the rollback rate.
If the M&O rate is adopted at 6.911 mills, it would be considered a tax increase by the state. That’s because the city would be collecting more in tax revenue than it did last year due to the tax digest, or value of all taxable property, increasing during reassessments this year by the county Board of Assessors.
The city would have to adopt the M&O rollback millage rate of 6.621 mills to collect the same revenue it did last year and avoid a tax increase. County-wide, 82 percent of properties saw their values increase. Property owners in Douglasville who saw their values increase would pay more in taxes this year if the council adopts an M&O millage rate higher than the rollback rate.
The council held two of the three public hearings required by the state for a tax increase last Thursday. Three citizens attended — two at the morning hearing and one at the evening hearing. Only one person spoke at the morning meeting, inquiring about services citizens in the city get for paying city taxes that they don’t already get from paying county taxes. The other citizens who attended the hearings did not speak.
The council will have its third hearing next Thursday at 5:45 p.m. in the Douglasville Conference Center before convening to discuss and vote to adopt its millage rates.
While the council has advertised a tax increase, it could still lower its millage rate at the meeting Thursday. The Villa Rica City Council recently advertised a tax rate increase before voting to lower its millage to the rollback rate.
In addition to setting the M&O millage rate, the city council is also expected to set its bond millage Thursday. The current bond millage is 1.526 and the proposed bond millage rate for the current fiscal year is 1.35 mills, a decrease of 0.176 mills.