Have an extra hundred dollars? You’ll need it when the tax bill arrives




Decatur County officials plan to publish several documents related to the upcoming millage rate increase, that is a result of the Service Delivery agreement between county commissioners and the Bainbridge City Council.

The first is a “Notice of Property Tax Increase,” which will list how the millage rate levied by Decatur County has changed over the past 5 years and the rate that is proposed for 2015-2016. The county’s Maintenance and Operations millage rate (which provides revenue for the county’s general fund) is actually decreasing slightly.

Property owners outside of Bainbridge will be levied 11.19 mills, down from 11.41 in 2014. Property owners in Bainbridge will get a rollback on the county’s MNO millage rate, as property owners in Bainbridge will no longer have to pay for certain county services, such as Decatur County Fire and Rescue. The millage rate assessed to property owners within Bainbridge city limits will go down to 10.61 mills.

However, some new line items will be on all county taxpayers’ bills later this fall.

  • 2 mills for the Memorial Hospital Authority (this rate can go down in future years, but cannot exceed 2 mills)
  • 1.5 mills for the new Bainbridge-Decatur County Recreational Authority, which will take over rec programs currently operated by the City of Bainbridge in July 2016.
  • 0.85 mills to fund Decatur County Fire and Rescue, under a new county fire district being created. City of Bainbridge taxpayers will not be levied this millage.

Here’s how you can expect your property tax bill to rise

Also in the document to be published as an advertisement in the Saturday issue of The Bainbridge Post-Searchlight will be an estimate for how much property owners living in different parts of Decatur County can expect to pay in addition to what they paid last year. Here’s how the numbers break down:

For a home valued at $100,000, and taking into account the $2,000 homestead exemption, the new millage rate increase will result in:

$103 more dollars on City of Bainbridge taxpayers’ bill

$135 more dollars for residents of Climax, Attapulgus and Brinson

$157 more dollars for residents of unincorporated Decatur County

For a property valued at $75,000, and not including the homestead tax exemption (think rental property), the new millage rate increase will result in:

$81 more dollars on City of Bainbridge taxpayers’ bill

$107 more dollars for residents of Climax, Attapulgus and Brinson

$125 more dollars for residents of unincorporated Decatur County

Naturally, if your property is worth more than $100,000, the additional amount you will owe on your property tax bill will be higher.

 

The other document to be published will be a “Five Year Millage History” for Decatur County. That spreadsheet is different from the one we made below, in that it will only show the changes in the millage rate levied by Decatur County commissioners. The spreadsheet also will show 11.19 mills for Decatur County, which does not include the millage rate increases, so an explanatory document will accompany the millage history.

Decatur County, GA – Local Governments Millage Rate History

All figures from the Georgia Department of Revenue’s website.

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
City of Bainbridge   3.071 3.57 3.575 3.575 3.575 5.575 5.575
Decatur County   8.56 8.56 9.36 9.66 11.41 11.16 11.19
DC Schools   12.71 12.99 12.99 15.99 15.99 15.496 15.97
Library   0 0 0 0 0 0.494 0
GEFA   0 0 0 0 0 0.25 0
State   0.25 0.25 0.25 0.2 0.15 0.1 0.1
Dev. Authority   0 0 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.25
Hospital   0 0 0.3 0 0 0 2
Recreation Auth.   0 0 0 0 0 0 1.5
Fire Service   0 0 0 0 0 0 0.85
                 
Total   24.591 25.37 26.725 29.675 31.375 33.325 37.435

Some notes about the figures in the above table. We did not include a small separate millage rate increase that will be levied to Decatur County property owners who do not live within Bainbridge, Climax, Attapulgus or Brinson. That millage rate is less than half a mill and will be levied only to residents of unincorporated Decatur County, to pay for services such as the water and sewer system at the Decatur County Industrial Park and the county airport.

The millage set aside for the Decatur County Library is currently included as part of the Decatur County Board of Education’s millage rate. It was broken out from the BOE millage in 2014, hence the lower BOE millage rate for that year.

At some point prior to 2011, Decatur County commissioners made an annual contribution to the Memorial Hospital Authority out of the county’s annual budget. The last recorded contribution was $250,000 in 2011. In 2011, county commissioners voted to create a standalone millage rate of 0.3 mills for the hospital. (See “County Commissioners propose millage rate increase, The Bainbridge Post-Searchlight)

In 2012, county commissioners cut the hospital’s millage rate, meaning the county government no longer directly contributed money to the hospital. (See “County to cut hospital’s funding”, The Bainbridge Post-Searchlight)

Finally, we didn’t list it in the above table for purposes of accruing a total, but Climax has a millage rate of 6.5 mills, on a much smaller tax digest.




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