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Flemington considers creating millage rate
Flemington City Hall

On Jan. 19, the city of Flemington held a workshop to discuss the creation of a millage rate for the city.

Liberty County Tax Assessor’s Office Chief Appraiser Glenda Roberts was invited to speak at the workshop. She explained the requirements and timeline the city would need to follow to begin implementing millage rates on their property owners.

The first thing she addressed was the city’s charter. She said the city needed to make sure its charter allowed for the proposed taxation. Flemington Mayor Paul Hawkins said their charter, updated about two years ago, does allow for taxation. Should the process move forward and be approved, Flemington and Hinesville would be the two cities within the county that have their own millage rate.

Roberts said the city will need to create a budget and determine what their operational expenses will be and what services the millage rate must cover. She said the city needs to plan accordingly because they may not collect 100% of the taxes they expect to collect. She noted the state has strict requirements when publishing the yearly tax digest. She said the five-year tax digest must be published in the legal organ at least one week prior to the establishment of the current year’s millage rate. She said it must also be posted on the city’s website.

She also informed the city that they would have to automatically advertise the public hearings for the proposed tax increase since the city was not collecting property taxes in the past. She recommended the city seek assistance from Hinesville Chief Financial Officer Kim Ryon and County Financial Officer Kim McGlothlin.

The millage rate would be needed to account for the rapid growth in Flemington and their plans to house a fire station within city limits. Roberts told the mayor and council to be prepared for some backlash from residents who may not understand that the city needs to impose the millage rate to sustain the city’s growth and operational expenses.

Hawkins thanked Roberts for her thorough explanation and said the city has a lot to think about as they decide whether and/or when to move forward with the process.

Mayor and council discussed a possible increase to the hotel/ motel tax.

The city currently imposes a 5% hotel/motel tax. Due to changes at the state level, the city could increase that to 8%. Currently, 3% goes to general funds and 2% goes to tourism. The newly added 3% will be split in half, with half funding tourism and the other half used for capital projects that promote tourism.

No resolution was adopted at the workshop.

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