Fulton County cuts taxes

Mon, 07/09/2007 - 8:37am
By: Ben Nelms

Fulton County Board of Commissioners June 20 announced a general fund millage rate decrease of 1.126 mills and a South Fulton Tax District reduction of .072 mills over last year’s rate. The new general fund rate will come within just over one-tenth mill of amounting to no net tax increase. Figures for the impact on the Special Service District are under review.

Chief Appraiser Burt Manning said the assessor’s office is working on determining the precise state of increases or decreases of property values in unincorporated south Fulton, a task currently complicated by the mass of annexations by existing cities in 2006.

The 2007 general fund millage rate was set at 10.281 mills, a 1.126 mill decrease, down from 11.407 mills in 2006 and 11.581 mills in 2005. The 2007 millage rate for the South Fulton Tax District is 5.659 mills, a decrease of 0.072 mills from 2006.

While the downward trend is holding in millage rate decreases, an upward trend in the tax digest is being experienced across most of the county in terms of increases in property values based on new construction and reassessments. Countywide, property tax digest values are showing a significant increase over last year at approximately 11.7 percent, Manning said. The break even point between new digest figures and millage rate reduction would have required a decrease of 1.256 mills to avoid a net tax increase.

Figures for south Fulton County are more difficult to determine in some portions of the unincorporated areas, Manning explained. More than 13,000 acres previously regarded as inside the new city of Chattahoochee Hill Country and the proposed city of South Fulton were annexed by existing and are now assigned to those tax rolls. Due to annexations, Palmetto showed an increase of 20 percent, while Union City increased by 40 percent and Fairburn by 60 percent, Manning said. His office is working to make the necessary updates, he said.

Also announced June 20, for the first time in 50 years, the Fulton County Bond Fund was set at zero, since all outstanding bonds will be paid off from the existing balance in the bond fund. The Bond Fund millage rate was 0.064 mills in 2006.

By comparison, Cobb County’s 2006 millage rate had increased slightly from 2000, Clayton County’s 2006 rate has increased twofold, while DeKalb County’s 2007 General fund millage rate has decreased by 16 percent since 2000.

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