Hinesville and several Liberty County entities recently set their millage rates for the 2015 tax digest.
This year’s digest is valued at $1,169,070,259, a decrease from $1,215,110,774 last year. The millage rate is applied to the tax digest.
Kim McGlothlin, the county’s chief finance officer, said the value of properties decreased because of a “significant” number of property owners appealing the assessed values of their properties. If a property was adjusted to a lower value, the other properties near it also were adjusted to lower values, she said.
Liberty County proposed an increased millage rate for Hinesville residents at 12.95 and for all other cities and unincorporated areas in the county at 14.39. However, the Board of Commissioners on Nov. 19 decided to keep the same millage rates at 12.63 for Hinesville and 13.84 for other county residents.
Because the commissioners kept the millage rates the same, the budget is short $1.3 million, according to McGlothlin. As of press time, the county was still working on reducing the budget to meet the new millage rate.
Hinesville’s millage is slightly less than the rest of Liberty County because residents already pay for certain county services through Hinesville’s property tax.
The owner of a home in Hinesville with an assessed value of $100,000, will have an estimated Liberty County property tax bill of $1,263.
Owners of similar homes outside Hinesville will have an estimated property tax bill of $1,384.
The Liberty County Development Authority’s millage rate, by law, is automatically set by the state at 2 mills.
The city of Hinesville kept its millage rate at 11.51.
The Liberty County Hospital Authority, which sets policy for Liberty Regional Medical Center, set its millage rate to 3.358 on Nov. 18, but the Liberty County Board of Commissioners decided to keep it at 3.25.
The Liberty County Board of Education raised its millage to 15.88, up from 15.65.
The BoE’s millage rate must be at least 95 percent of the average millage rate for Georgia school districts in order to maintain federal Impact Aid.
Staff writer Tiffany King contributed to this report.