Local governments — all but one of them — want more money from you in increased property taxes

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No matter where you live in Fayette County — city or county — if you own property, you will be paying more in property taxes this year as compared to last year.

The local governments are holding public hearings in the next two weeks to get taxpayer input on the mainly double-digit percentage increases in your property tax bills.

Notice that the taxing entities vary in how they describe the increase: Some give the increase as a percentage of millage rate — probably the least helpful metric — and others give the increase as the actual percentage increase in tax dollars collected.

• School taxes to the Fayette County Board of Education — 9.92% increase in the effective millage rate.

• County taxes controlled by the Fayette County Commission — 14.47% increase in actual dollars collected.

• Peachtree City taxes — 17.59% more tax dollars to be collected.

• Fayetteville city taxes — 13.21% increase in the effective millage rate.

• Tyrone town taxes — 15.99% increase in the actual tax money collected over the previous year.

• Brooks town taxes — 83% increase — that’s not a typo, but it is slightly misleading by itself. See the Brooks story below.

• Woolsey — no town taxes collected, so no increase.

Above is the total take on who wants to raise your property taxes this year — every single local government within Fayette County — except for the tiny municipality of Woolsey, population 206, which levies no town property tax.

• The biggest collector of local property tax is the Fayette County Board of Education. The school system’s budget for Fiscal Year 2023 is right at $243 million.

• The FY 2023 budget passed by the Fayette County Commission to run the county government functions is just under $112 million, less than half that of the school system.

• Peachtree City’s FY 2023 budget comes in as third largest of all local governments in the county at just over $47 million. That’s one-fifth the size of the school system’s budget.

• Fayetteville comes in with the fourth largest budget in the county at nearly $44 million, but that includes money for operating the city-owned water and sewer system. The city’s General Fund for public safety and city operations is right at $22 million.

Now let’s look at individual taxing authorities:

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The Fayette County Board of Education plans to raise your school millage rate by 9.92%

Here’s the school system announcement:

Fayette County Board of Education announcing proposed property tax increase over rollback millage rate

The Fayette County Board of Education announces its intention to adopt the maintenance and operations (M&O) millage rate at 19.150 mills compared to 19.334 mills the prior year. This is a reduction in the 2022 tax digest M&O millage rate of 0.184 mill. In addition, the bond millage rate will be set at 0.85 mill compared to 1.1 mills the prior year. The combined millage rate reduction is 0.434 mill.

The Board of Education adopted the FY2023 general fund (M&O) budget of $242.9 million on June 27, 2022. The budget includes a 7% cost of living adjustment for teachers and other staff. In addition, the budget includes provisions to maintain smaller classroom sizes, retain current employees, and recruit staff for positions such as bus drivers, paraprofessionals, custodians, and after school program and school nutrition workers.

The millage rate change takes into consideration changes in the tax digest values and exemptions. Gross tax digest values increased 16.54% over the prior year, but total exemptions increased 35.66%. Since the increase in exemptions outpaced the increase in the property values on the digest, the net digest increased only 9.63%. Tax exemptions are now equal to nearly one-third of the gross digest at 30.89%.

Of special note is the floating homestead exemption (L7) enacted by the state legislature for Fayette County last year. The floating tax exemption only applies to school system M&O tax revenues. The exemption caps the increase in assessed value on a homestead property to the lesser of the prior calendar year’s consumer price index (CPI) or 3%. For 2020, the CPI was over 8% so the increase in net assessment value for homestead properties was capped at 3% unless the property changed ownership.

On the 2022 tax digest, there are 20,509 properties that qualify for the floating homestead exemption. On average, these properties have a $43,000 exemption that equates to approximately $840 in exempted property taxes per property. In total, the floating homestead exemptions equate to over $17 million in exempted tax revenues.

Other residential property exemptions include exemptions for senior citizens (age and income qualifications), disabled persons, and military veterans.

Each year, the board of tax assessors is required to review the assessed value for property tax purposes of taxable property in the county. When the trend of prices on properties that have recently sold in the county indicate there has been an increase in the fair market value of any specific property, the Board of Tax Assessors is required by law to re-determine the value of such property and adjust the assessment. This is called a reassessment.

When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires that a rollback millage rate must be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred. The rollback rate for 2022 is 17.422 mills.

The intended millage of 19.15 mills will effectively raise property taxes the Board of Education will levy this year by 9.92 percent over the rollback millage rate.

The fiscal year 2023 budget adopted by the Fayette County Board of Education requires a millage rate higher than the rollback millage rate; therefore, Georgia law requires three public hearings be held to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the proposed increase.

All concerned citizens are invited to participate in the public hearings on this tax increase to be held at the LaFayette Educational Center located at 205 LaFayette Avenue, Fayetteville, Georgia on August 15, 2022 at 11:00 AM and 6:00 PM, and August 22, 2022 at 6:30 PM. www.fcboe.org.

The millage rate adoption is scheduled to occur August 22, 2022 at 7:00 PM at the location listed above. — By Thomas J. Gray, Chief Financial Officer

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Fayette County Commission plans to raise your county property taxes by 14.47%

Here’s the county announcement:

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE

Fayette County has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 14.47%.

All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held at Fayette County Administrative Complex Commission Chambers, 140 Stonewall Avenue West in Fayetteville on August 18, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase are at Fayette County Administrative Complex Commission Chambers, 140 Stonewall Avenue West, Fayetteville on August 25, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 4.034 mills, an increase of 0.510 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 3.524 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $325,000 is approximately $63.75 and the proposed tax increase for nonhomestead property with a fair market value of $375,000 is approximately $76.50. — Marlena Edwards, Chief Deputy County Clerk, Fayette County Board of Commissioners

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Peachtree City Council wants 17% more tax revenue from residents this year

Peachtree City plans to raise tax revenue 17%, invites public to 3 public hearings on tax rate

The Peachtree City Mayor and Council today announces today its intention to raise property taxes by not rolling back the impact of assessment increases of property values.

The city millage rate for Maintenance & Operation (M & O) is scheduled to remain the same at 6.043 mills, while the City Bond millage rate is scheduled to remain at 0.000 mills.

State law also requires governments to announce the percent increase over the roll-back millage rate if property values increase. As property values on the 2022 tax digest have increased, the roll-back millage rate for M & O was calculated to be 5.366 mills. The proposed M & O millage rate of 6.043 mills represents a 12.62% increase over the roll-back millage rate.

The tax levy will generate approximately $19,517,063 or 17.59% more tax revenue than the 2021 levy, due to the combined impact of new growth, decline in motor vehicle values, and increased property values due to reassessments of existing property. The net M & O digest value increased by a total of $483,035,472 or 17.59% from 2021 to 2022.

Each year, the Tax Assessors Office is required to review the assessed value for property tax purposes of taxable property in Fayette County. When the trend of prices on properties that have recently sold in the County indicates there has been an increase or decrease in the fair market value of any specific property, the Tax Assessors Office is required by law to re-determine the value of such property and increase the assessment. This is called a reassessment.

When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires a rollback millage rate must be computed that will produce the same total revenue from Real property on the current year’s new digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments to Real property occurred. As Real property values have increased, the M & O rollback millage rate of 5.366 is 0.677 mills lower than the current rate of 6.043.

Before City Council may set a final millage rate, Georgia Law requires that three public hearings be held to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on this increase. All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase, to be held at City Hall, 151 Willowbend Road in Peachtree City on the following dates:

· Public Hearing: Thursday, August 11, 2022, at 9:00 a.m.

· Public Hearing: Thursday, August 18, 2022, at 9:00 a.m.

· Public Hearing & Tentative Adoption: Thursday, August 18, 2022, at 6:30 p.m.

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Fayetteville City Council plans to raise residents’ city property tax rate by 13.21%

Here’s how the city announced its tax hike:

The Fayetteville City Council has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 13.21 percent over the rollback rate.

All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held at Fayetteville City Hall 210 Stonewall Ave W., Fayetteville, Georgia on August 18, 2022 at 6:00 PM.

Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase are at Fayetteville City Hall, 210 Stonewall Ave. W Fayetteville, Georgia on August 25, 2022 at 9:00 AM and 5:30 PM.

This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 5.646 mills, an increase of .659 mills. Without the tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 4.987 mills.

The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $185,000 is approximately $48.77 and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $350,000 is approximately $92.26.

In an accompanying release the city said:

City of Fayetteville announces proposed property tax increase

The Fayetteville City Council today announces its intention to increase the 2022 property taxes it will levy by 13.21 percentage over the rollback millage rate.

Each year, the board of assessors is required to review the assessed value for property tax purposes of taxable property in the county. When the trend of prices on properties that have recently sold in the county indicate there has been an increase in the fair market value of any specific property, the board of tax assessors is required by law to re-determine the value of such property and adjust the assessment. This is called a reassessment.

When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires that a rollback millage rate must be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred.

The budget tentatively adopted by the Fayetteville City Council requires that a millage rate higher than the rollback millage rate, therefore, before the Fayetteville City Council may finalize the tentative budget and set a final millage rate, Georgia Law requires three public hearings to be held to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the increase.

All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held at City Hall, 210 Stonewall Ave. W, Fayetteville, Georgia on August 18, 2022 at 9:00AM and 6:00 PM, and also on August 30, 2022 at 9:00 AM.

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Tyrone Council wants to raise residents’ property taxes by 15.99%

Town of Tyrone proposes increase in property taxes

The Mayor and Town Council of the Town of Tyrone, Georgia have announced today their intention to increase the collection of property taxes in 2022.

This increase as compared to prior-year revenues is due to the need for a millage rate above the state-defined roll-back millage rate as calculated after the tax digest is prepared by the Fayette County Tax Assessors Office.

During budget preparation, the Town of Tyrone committed to maintaining its Maintenance & Operations (M&O) millage at a rate of 2.889 mills. As was the case last year, the assessed value of the new construction and existing real and personal properties within the town limits have increased, and a roll-back millage was calculated at 2.537 mills.

Georgia Law requires that a government rollback their millage rate to a number of mills that will produce the same number of dollars in property tax revenue from the prior year.

The Town’s millage has been at this rate for fifteen years, despite vast fluctuations in economic factors. The proposed increase in property tax revenue, year over year, amounts to $235,109 or 15.99%. The total number of dollars anticipated to be collected in property tax for 2022 is $1,705,890.

Before the Town Council can set a final millage rate at a council meeting on August 18, 2022 at 7:00 p.m., the Department of Revenue requires that three public hearings be held to allow for the citizens to express their opinion on the potential increase. All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings, which will be held at the Tyrone Municipal Complex, 950 Senoia Road, on the following dates and times.

Public Hearings for Town of Tyrone Property Tax Increase:

Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 9:00 AM

Tuesday, August 16, 2022 at 5:00 PM

Thursday, August 18, 2022 at 6:30 PM

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Brooks wants to increase its property tax by 83%

That’s not a typo. But Brooks is a small town in southern Fayette County, and percentages there can be misleading. We’re talking thousands, not millions of dollars.

The town council actually wants to increase tax collections from last year’s $18,898 to a new level this year of $34,923. That’s 84%. The town budget would rise from $44,450 in 2021 to 49,958, less than $6,000.

The thing is, the tax collector in Brooks seems to have awakened from a long sleep. 

Brooks town taxes collected have more than doubled in the past 5 years: from $20,564 in 2017 to a projected $46,605 this year. Things are a ‘popping in Brooks.

Here’s the town’s announcement:

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE

The Town of Brooks has tentatively adopted a 2022 millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 83.04%.

All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held at Town Hall, 961 Highway 85 Connector, Brooks, GA on August 11, 2022, at 4:00 p.m.

Time and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase are at Town Hall, 961 Highway 85 Connector, Brooks, GA on August 15, 2022, at 6:30 p.m., and on August 22, 2022, at 6:30 p.m.

The tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 1.64 mills, an increase of 0.64 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 1.0 mills.

The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $300,000 is approximately $196.80.

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 Just for some more data, here’s how many people live in each of the governmental jurisdictions:

• Fayette County, GA (pop. 120,574 U.S. Census estimate 2021)

• Peachtree City (pop. 38,818 U.S. Census estimate 2021)

• Fayetteville (pop. 19,284 U.S. Census estimate 2021)

• Tyrone (pop. 7,817 U.S. Census estimate 2021)

• Brooks (pop. 568 in 2020 U.S. Census) 

• Woolsey (pop. 206 in 2020 U.S. Census) — no municipal tax rate, thus no need for public hearings.

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