Fayette to adopt millage rate Thursday

Sun, 08/23/2009 - 10:40pm
By: John Munford

The Fayette County Commission is expected to vote Thursday night to maintain the current maintenance and operations millage rate of 5.4 mills for the 2009-2010 budget year.

The only homeowners who will see a property tax increase this year are those who have improved their property in some way. That’s because the state has enacted a three-year freeze on any increase in property values through reassessments.

Meanwhile, foreclosures have taken their toll on some neighborhoods, causing home values to drop, county officials have said. That has brought tax digest growth to a crawl.

On top of that, the county continues to see sales tax revenues lagging behind. Both sales and property taxes make up the lion’s share of the county’s revenue.

The county, which provides EMS services in Fayetteville and both fire and EMS services in Brooks, Tyrone and the unincorporated county, also charges separate millage rates for each service that are tacked to residents of those jurisdictions.

The EMS millage rate this year is .548 and the fire millage rate is 1.991.

The county’s $78 million budget for the coming year includes $46.5 million in the general fund, down $2 million from last year’s budget. The budget includes no vehicle replacements this year as one of the concessions to the challenging economic times, as sales tax receipts remain down significantly from last year.

The budget also eliminates 22 vacant full-time equivalent positions that have been held open for the past three years when the county enacted its hiring freeze in advance of the slowing economy.

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