Decatur County commissioners to vote on significant tax increase

property_taxesDecatur County commissioners will hold their 2nd public hearing on the 2015-2016 fiscal year budget at their meeting on Tuesday, August 25 at 7 p.m. at the Decatur County Administration Building located at 203 W. Broughton Street in Bainbridge.

While county commissioners will hold seperate hearings on the proposed millage rate increase, the vote on the annual budget will commit commissioners to following through on the necessary millage rate required to fund the budget.

City of Bainbridge taxpayers will get a 1.0 mill rollback on their MNO (maintenance and operations) millage rate. Decatur County’s MNO millage rate was 11.04 mills last year.

Both City of Bainbridge and Decatur County taxpayers will see an increase of 1.5 mills to fund the creation of a joint Bainbridge-Decatur County Recreation Authority, which will begin operating local sports programs in July 2016.

Decatur County commissioners had previously agreed to contribute money equal to no more than 2 mills of property tax to Memorial Hospital in Bainbridge, to help the hospital cover the costs of providing indigent care.

Indigent care is health care services provided to people who 1) don’t have health insurance and 2) don’t have any sources of income that would cover the bill for treatment. Memorial Hospital uses state and federal guidelines to determine who is considered indigent.

1 mill of county property tax is equal to about $750,000, so 2 mills would be about $1.5 million annually. However, the millage rate dedicated to Memorial Hospital could go down in succeeding years, depending on the hospital’s need, however it would never exceed 2 mills.

Residents of unincorporated Decatur County and people living within the city limits of Climax, Brinson and Attapulgus will see a line item on their property tax for “Fire and Rescue.” City of Bainbridge taxpayers will no longer contribute to the budget of the county fire department.

Residents of unincorprated Decatur County, but NOT those living within Climax, Brinson and Attapulgus, will see an additional line item on their property tax bill that reads something like, “Unincorporated services.” That millage line item will cover the cost of operating the county-run Pines Golf Course, the cost of providing water and sewer service at the Decatur County Industrial Park off U.S. 27 North, and the cost of operating the county airport.

To sum up, City of Bainbridge taxpayers will see approximately 2.5 mills added to their property tax bill by Decatur County, as part of its implementation of the Service Delivery Agreement between the City of Bainbridge and the county government.

Those living outside the city limits of Bainbridge will see anywhere from 3.0 to 4.0 mills added to their property tax bill. The amount will be closer to 4 mills for people who don’t live in Climax, Attapulgus or Brinson.

You can view the proposed 2015-2016 budget here on

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