Government SPLOST 7 | | | Editor

Columbia County might cut tax

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 12:15 AM
Last updated 12:23 AM
  • Follow Latest News

Columbia County officials again are considering a cut to property taxes.

Commissioners discussed lowering the millage rate during a meeting Tuesday but offered few details. They said they’ll discuss the cut further in another budget meeting scheduled for May 8.

The millage rate for Columbia County government is 9.137, which is a quarter less than the previous year after a commission cut. Commissioners have cut the county’s millage rate in four of the past five years.

One mill represents about $4 million in property tax revenues.

County Administrator Scott Johnson said the cut is possible because of an expected 2 percent growth in the county’s tax digest and cuts in government expenses.

The proposed general fund budget for next fiscal year, which starts July 1, is $55.3 million. That is nearly the same as the current fiscal year.

Comments (5) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
FriedFacts 05/02/12 - 04:30 am
Watch what happens when

Watch what happens when Charles Nagle starts whinning the school system could use the extra money.

dickworth1 05/02/12 - 04:48 am
Another good year for the

Another good year for the property owners in Columbia Co., we in
Richmond Co. do not get decreases, but we do get to pay HUD
money that apparently just disappeared in thin air and I guess
the Richmond Co. taxpayers get stuck with having to pay for the missing funds and I guess no one will be held accountable! I think
the justice dept needs to investigate this mess.

dstewartsr 05/02/12 - 10:07 am
Cutting the millage rate

Cutting the millage rate means nothing when inflated appraisals raise the value of your property annually. State law says this should be revenue neutral. But of course there's a little loophole that says when they do this the commissars merely have to vote (which they have done each year) to keep the money. With exception of the well-connected property owners, or well represented, appraisals are never lowered.

Come back in October and see the county has collected more or less taxes this year than last.

countyman 05/02/12 - 01:02 pm
Certain people never seem to

Certain people never seem to mention East Augusta, but swear they want what's best for the entire county.. I can think of several neighborhoods(Manchester, Lakes at Spirit Creek, Walton Farms, Walton Acres, The Orchard, etc) in South Augusta with homes over $200k... I can think of even more on the 'southside' which includes the city limits of Hephzibah and Blythe.. Olde Town is located between East Augusta and the CBD and is the only one I can think of...

The last time I checked Evans and Martinez weren't the only places in CC.. Ride through Grovetown and Harlem and compare the condition of the schools, roads, retail, etc versus Evans or Martinez.. Unless you mean things such as landscpaing, or creating a city building to spur development in South Augusta.. I don't see how you can complain with the $172 million Starbucks deal, $115 million Rockwood, $55 million Augusta Newsprint, $35 million Bennett International, etc.. South Augusta is attracting multiple companies for an place the commissioners don't care about.. Then of course several of them live in in South Augusta..

The commission and school board rolled back taxes three times in the year 2010...

How is RC stuck in the 60's with a white mayor who won 64% of the vote.. Let's see if Columbia County can elect somebody of color to take over for Ron Cross...

David Parker
David Parker 05/02/12 - 01:26 pm
Trying to understand the

Trying to understand the forces that control tax rate and property valuation. I've seen apartment complexes going up around my neighborhood more and more over the years. We are seeing more neighborhoods that are tagged Section 8, or low-income, things of that nature. As the perceived value of property fluctuates, taxes logically should follow. What dstewartsr mentioned about "State law says this should be revenue neutral." Should the amount of tax be determined solely by the actual value of the property or should other factors be included such as: revenue deficits, income fluctuation per capita, overall economic health?

Until this can be clarified and then clarified even further, trying to justify a rate decrease or even explain it, is an exercise in futility. I'm admitting here and now that I'm simply asking a few questions and in no way sharing any knowledge (real or fake) on this subject.

dstewartsr 05/02/12 - 09:03 pm
DParker, the background is

DParker, the background is that this was implemented to curb the rapacity of city/county governments, mostly in the Atlanta area (Alpharetta being the main contributor), who like Columbia County basically had across the board increases in property evaluation in order to pump up their revenues even though there was no corresponding actual value change. It's hard to remember, but much of the burden of government rests on the property owner- although many benefit. After years of abuse, it was addressed by the legislature to curb this selective milking of the homeowners. The exemption was written in the law for those governments who actually had increases of property value, but it has been routinely abused by every government. Commissar Cross needs money for paving every inch of CC north of I-20, and buildings he hopes to be named after him, so everry year they have lowered the millage, they have collected massively more by way of inflated values.

An unwarranted five one percent upward evaluation in property values (especially for recent years when prices have either remained static or declined) offset by a five mill reduction equates to significantly higher taxes every year.

And they tell the peasants how good they're being to us.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs