County rolling back millage rate

Thu, 07/03/2008 - 12:58pm
By: Ben Nelms

The nationwide economic slowdown will likely result in increased tax rates for many Americans. But not Coweta residents. County commissioners July 1 decided to rollback taxes to offset any net millage rate increase. Commissioners also decided to hold off temporarily on setting a date for a fire bond referendum.

County Administrator Theron Gay said the tax digest had grown approximately six percent during the past year. He recommended that millage rates for incorporated and unincorporated areas be rolled back sufficiently to offset any increase in taxes.

The millage rate for residents of unincorporated Coweta sits at 7.15 mills while residents of municipalities are at 7.76 mills. The proposed millage rate that would neutralize the need for a net tax increase would be 6.98 mills for unincorporated residents and 7.66 mills for municipal residents. Commissioners said they would prefer no net tax increase and will conduct a public hearing on the matter July 25 at 1 p.m.

Commissioners Tuesday agreed to hold off on a decision establishing a firm date for a bond referendum for needed fire department facilities and equipment. Commissioners decided in June to put the question on the ballot, but did not determine whether the vote would be in November or in March 2009. The referendum date could be decided at the July 25 meeting.

The $15-20 million bond would offset the need for future millage increases for public safety and would be used to construct a new headquarters station, a new station near the Corinth Road/Bohannon Road area, purchase two additional ladder trucks and additional equipment and an 800-megahertz trunking system for radio communications.

Also at the meeting, commissioners unanimously agreed to a reduction in the minimum 1,725 square footage requirement of single-family homes in older, uncompleted subdivisions with smaller homes, paving the way for construction homes of at least 1,450 square feet in some established subdivisions.

“The policy would allow subdivisions with small houses to continue to build those units,” said Gay.

Gay said some of the county’s older subdivisions that are not yet built out have smaller homes that do not meet the 1,750 square-foot minimum established in May 2007. Gay recommended, and commissioners agreed, to allow the smaller square footage homes in older subdivisions where at least 65 percent of the homes are less than 1,450 square feet.

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