Coweta to keep same millage rate

by Celia Shortt

The Coweta County Board of Commissioners is considering adopting the same millage rates as 2013 for 2014, but rather than taking a rollback rate, the increased property tax digest will mean the rate will bring in more revenue.

Coweta County’s 2014 proposed millage rate for incorporated areas is 7.75 mills and 6.50 mills for unincorporated areas. Both rates are the same as the 2013 rates.

According to county officials, Coweta County’s tax assessor’s office “calculates the total value of all property in the county.” This calculation is called the tax digest. Tax assessors determine the tax digest by a conducting yearly property assessments of “real and personal property.” In accordance with state law, the office also issues notices to property owners. Any reassessments reflect a change in the real estate market, including traditional and distressed sales.

“After five years of decline in the overall tax digest, many properties in Coweta County have increased in value,” said county officials in a prepared statement announcing the proposed 2014 millage rates. “Higher sales prices and a marked decrease in the number of foreclosures provide evidence of the overall improvement in the real estate market.”

Due to the tax digest increasing, the Coweta County Board of Commissioners is required to announce a tax increase even though the millage rate is not changing and there is no proposed increase to the tax rate.

The calculated millage rollback rate for 2014 would be 7.39 mills for incorporated areas and 6.40 mills for unincorporated. Georgia law requires tax authorities to compute a rollback for maintenance operations, which would produce the same amount of revenue based on the tax digest for that year.

The commissioners will be holding three public hearings for the 2014 proposed millage rates to allow the public to make comments. These public hearings will be held on Aug. 12 at 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., and on Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. and take place in the Commission Chambers, in the Coweta County Administration Building at the 37 Perry Street entrance.

Earlier this week, the Coweta County School System announced its intention to keep the 2013 millage rate of 18.59 mills for 2014. With the higher property values, the school system expects to see a 2.74 percent increase in the property values it receives. Their three public hearings are on Aug. 4 at 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and on Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. They will be held at the Board of Education Office at 237 Jackson Street.

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