With an unanimous vote, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners rolled back the property tax millage rate to accommodate for the increase in property values for 2017. The action took place during the Board’s regular voting session on Tuesday, August 15th.
The value of land in Douglas County has risen over the past year as the economy continues to improve. Of real property assessments by the Douglas County Appraisal Department, 8 percent of properties in the County had no change in value; 10 percent of properties had a decrease in value; and 82 percent of properties had an increase in value. Property valuation procedures are established by the Georgia Department of Revenue and include such things as comparable sales in a neighborhood.
The Gross Tax Digest is the total net assessed value of real property (land) and personal property, motor vehicles, timber, mobile homes and heavy-duty equipment. From that Digest are subtracted approved exemptions and forest land protection, and the result is the Net Tax Digest. The Net Tax Digest for Douglas County increased 10.44 percent, which equals $389,286,575 in value.
The reassessment of property accounted for 55 percent of the digest growth. The remaining 45 percent is from new growth, i.e., new development in the County. 2017 marks the fourth straight year of positive new growth in the County after the recession. Residential properties compose 56.31% of the tax digest, commercial properties 26.26%, industrial properties 11.57%, with utilities, motor vehicles, conservation, agriculture and other smaller categories completing the digest.
State of Georgia law requires the millage rate to be rolled back for any increase in the Net Tax Digest due to the rise in property values, or advertise and hold three Public Hearings on the increase in tax revenue even if the millage rate remains the same as the year before. The Douglas County Board of Commissioners rolled back the millage rate 0.499 mills to 10.768 mills. Any millage rate higher than 10.768 mills is considered by the State as a tax increase. The value of one mill for 2017 is $4,116,861.
The Douglas County Board of Education and the Cities of Douglasville, Austell and Villa Rica set their own millage rates, and are not included in the millage rate set by the County. Property tax notices are usually issued by the Douglas County Tax Commissioner in September with payment due in mid-November. On average, Douglas County government receives 33.95 percent and the Douglas County Board of Education/School System receives 66.05 percent of tax revenues in the unincorporated County.