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Flowery Branch schedules 3 hearings for tax increase

POSTED: August 31, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Flowery Branch residents who saw a rise in property values this year because of reassessments also could see a slight jump in taxes.

City officials are proposing a tax rate of 2.837 mills, with 1 mill equal to $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value. Property is assessed at 40 percent.

The rate hasn’t changed, so residents whose property values remained the same or dropped would see taxes do likewise.

Because reassessments are producing some higher property values, however, the city has to calculate a "rollback rate," or a tax rate that would yield the same total revenue on the current year’s digest that last year’s tax rate would have produced.

That rate is 2.835 mills, said City Clerk Melissa McCain.

The increased values "include properties that may have been vacant the prior year and now have a home built on them, (as well as) reassessments for basements finished and home upgrades," she said.

Last year, the city collected $591,872 in property taxes. If the tax rate is approved, the city would collect $683,433, a 15.47 percent increase from last year.

"The value that changes on our tax digest from year to year is just that ... and those values are going up because costs go up," said City Manager Bill Andrew, referring to the list of taxable properties in the city.

"It costs more for us to run the city than it did last year," he said.

"A lot of that value change is from the fact that people are moving here and they’re building businesses. Businesses send us money, but they also send us costs."

The first hearing is set to take place during the City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday. That meeting begins at 9:30 a.m.

The second hearing is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 11.

The final hearing is set to take place during the council’s regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 17. That meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. The tax rate is scheduled to be approved at that meeting.

All hearings will take place at City Hall, 5517 Main St.

The city passed a $3.5 million budget on June 4 based on a rate of 2.837 mills, which has been at that level since 2006, McCain said.



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