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Millage rates set, same as this year
Bills likely to go out next week
Virgil Jones his pix
Tax Commissioner Virgil Jones - photo by Courier file photo
Liberty County tax bills should start going out next week and property owners should not see any increase tax bills over this year’s.
The county commission signed off on millage rates Tuesday.
“Basically, the millage will stay the same,” County Administrator Joey Brown said.
The commission action was the last stage in setting mills in the county and Tax Commissioner Virgil Jones said Thursday he had received state Department of Revenue approval of the digest that day.
“I normally drive the digest up on the Wednesday after the meeting, but the weather was so bad I sent it by courier and still received approval today.”
The commission’s action Tuesday included approving the county’s own tax rate, which commissioners held at 11.98 mills for unincorporated areas and small cities, and 11.4 in Hinesville.
Considering all taxing authorities in the county the millage rate is 32.93 on property in rural/small cities and 32.35 in Hinesville. Hinesville residents also pay an additional 9.5 mills to help fund city operations
Those taxing authorities had either approved their rates earlier or had the commission approve them Tuesday. Their levies are:
• Schools: 15.6, compared to 15.6 this year
• Hospital authority: 3.1, 3.1 this year
• Development authority: 2, 2 this year
• State: 0.25, 0.25 this year
Oversimplified, the millage rate means rural property owners will pay $32.93 on every $1,000 of assessed value of their property. Hinesville residents will pay $41.85.
In a normal year, the state would require the taxing authorities to call their holding the millage level a tax increase because increases in assessments would bring in more revenue, but not this year.
“Reassessed growth was frozen for two years by the legislature this year,” Brown said. “That’s why there’s no ‘increase’ this year.”
In fact legal notices published leading up to the commission’s action estimated the combined levy for the county will bring in about $36,500 less in the coming year compared to this year, $13.47 million compared to $13.51 million this year.
Tuesday’s action followed commission-led hearings on the county’s and hospital and industrial authorities’ proposed millages.
Few people attended the hearings.
“There were no questions, except by commissioners of some of the specific proposals,” Brown said.
Jones said he sent the approved millages and $1.15 billion digest to a vendor, Tailored Business Systems, Thursday and expects it to have property owners’ bills ready next week.
“Based on that, they will go out the middle of next week. Wednesday of next week is my best guess,” he said.
Jones will see sample bills later this week and early next and then authorize mailing. With luck, property owners will start receiving them over the Dec. 12-13 weekend and have nearly three weeks to pay and qualify for income tax deductions on 2009 returns.
“That was my goal,” Jones said, “to have those people who want to pay by the end of the year to get a chance to do that.”

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