The Richmond County tax digest shrank over the past year, ending an upward trend that had characterized the latter part of the decade.
The assessed (40 percent) gross value of taxable property dropped from $5.11 billion last year to $5.09 billion this year a 0.35 percent decrease.
After exemptions, the citys net assessed value the figure that the millage rate will be applied to decreased 0.75 percent.
Chief Appraiser Calvin Hicks attributed the loss to the poor economy and new legislation that had assessors taking foreclosures, bank sales and re-sales by lending institutions into account. In previous years, those were considered sales under duress and werent factored when assigning values to comparable properties.
City Administrator Fred Russell said he doesnt believe the digest loss will be enough to require a tax rate increase.
At the moment, I dont plan on proposing one, he said. Im not worried.
Richmond County schools Controller Gene Spires said previously that the system didnt plan for any growth in the digest. The school tax rate was maxed out last year, and the board approved a $256 million budget last month that overcome a projected $24.5 million shortfall without any layoffs.
I just received tax digest information from Mr. Hicks this afternoon, Mr. Spires said in an e-mail. I have not had time to do anything with it yet.