With the benefit of savings from projects that cost less than expected, the Columbia County Commission gave final approval to a property tax rate cut Tuesday.
The half-mill cut is on the portion of tax bills that repay bond debt, Finance Director Leanne Reece said. By using $3.9 million from the 2011-16 sales tax assigned to debt payment, and adding $2.1 million from savings in construction projects, commissioners were able to trim the county’s portion of the overall rate from 9.137 to 8.637 mills, she said.
“That basically equates to a $20 reduction on a $100,000 appraised value,” Reece said.
The tax rate also takes into account 2.28 percent growth in the county’s tax digest, Reece said. Commissioners initially budgeted based on 2 percent growth.
The ability to use sales taxes to repay bond debt is relatively new and is promoted less than the fund source’s use for capital projects, Commissioner Ron Thigpen said.
“It’s another positive impact that sometimes we don’t explain enough,” he said.
The county school board met earlier in the day and approved maintaining its current tax rate.