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County OKs tax hikes unanimously
Hinesville bills to be charged a little less
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Liberty County:  
   In Hinesville: 11.18 mills, down from 11.3 in 2011
   Rural and small cities: 12.58 mills, up from 11.98
Board of Education: 16 mills, up from 15.5
Hinesville: 10.5 mills, up from 9.5
Hospital Authority: 3.25 mills, same
Development Authority: 2 mills, limit set by state
Georgia: 0.25 mills

The Liberty County Commission Friday increased millage rates in three unanimous votes.
The board adopts three resolutions that combine recommended rates from the county, board of education, hospital authority, industrial authority and state property tax rates. One resolution applies to residents within Hinesville. Another applies to residents in other municipalities. And the third applies to residents in rural Liberty County.
Just before the BoC meeting, the Liberty County Board of Education unanimously adopted its increased rate of 16 mills. Board member Becky Carter was not present.

In Hinesville
The BoC adopted acombined rate of 32.68 mills for Hinesville residents, who also will see a 10.5-mill levy from the city for a combined tax bill of 43.18 mills.
The millage rate is applied to the assessed value, or 40 percent of fair market value, of a piece of property.
Excluding exemptions, a home with fair market value $100,000 taxed at 43.18 mills would generate a tax bill of $1,727.20. That’s an increase of $55.20 from the 2011 rate.
While the entities have advertised the dollar value of the increase based on homes of $100,000 and $75,000 values, many residents have said those values are low and are used to manipulate the appearance of the increases.
According to U.S. Census QuickFacts data from 2006-2010, the median home value in Hinesville is $118,000. A property at that value, excluding exemptions, with a millage rate of 43.18 mills would generate a tax bill of $2,038.10, or $65.14 more than the 2011 rate.

Other areas
The commission adopted the same rate for property in other municipalities and unincorporated areas. The rate is 34.08. No other municipal taxes will be added.
Excluding exemptions, a $100,000 home taxed at 34.08 mills would generate a bill of $1,363.20, an increase of $44 from 2011.
According to U.S. Census QuickFacts data from 2006-2010, the median home value in Liberty County is $120,300. A property at that value, excluding exemptions, taxed at 34.08 mills would cost $1,639.93. That’s $52.93 more than the combined rate last year.
Resident Gilbert Davis attended both hearings and said his co-workers at Fort Stewart Youth ChalleNGe sent him with several questions about how the rates work and what the increases will mean.
“A few of them have moved outside [Hinesville] because of taxes,” Davis said. “I don’t know if it’s a generational thing, but they say, ‘Well, Fleming is a lot cheaper, Allenhurst, you know, the unincorporated area.”
Liberty County Finance Officer Kim McGlothlin said the tax digest and millage rates will be sent to Tax Commissioner Virgil Jones, who has an appointment with state revenue officials in Atlanta on Monday.
The state must approve the digest and millage rates before tax bills are generated.

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