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Hinesville cuts tax rate by 1.4 mils
Council acts second year in row
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While the Liberty County Hospital Authority is pushing to increase its millage rate, Hinesville officials recently decreased the city’s millage rate for the second year in a row.
The Hinesville City Council unanimously approved the reduction earlier this month, cutting the millage rate from the 2006 tax digest rate of 10.9 mils to 9.5 mils for the 2007 tax digest.
The rollback of 1.4 mils can be credited to councilmembers keeping a close eye on the city’s expenses and their desire to create “a lower tax bill without a decrease in services,” according to Hinesville Chief Financial Officer Kim Thomas.
“When we go through our budget, we go through our budget by every line item and our city councilmembers are well aware of what is in our budget and they do a good job of asking the good, prudent questions to make sure that we are making responsible expenses,” she said. “The city council did a real good job of (spending sensibly) so we were able to find an opportunity to rollback the millage rate.”
And although it is a continuing source of contention for many residents, the newly instituted stormwater utility fee was also a major factor in decreasing the millage because it took “some of the expenditures out of the general fund” and left more revenue for city services, the CFO noted.
Having managed to maintain or lower the city’s millage rate for the last 10 years (11.3 mils from 1997 through 2005, 10.9 mils in 2006 and 9.5 mils this year), despite jumps in costs and population, Thomas said it was an example of good government looking out for residents.
“I think we’ve tried to do a really good job of — even though our expenditures have grown and our city has grown — trying not to increase that millage rate to our citizens,” she said.
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