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Oakwood keeps tax rate the same
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For the 11th straight year, Oakwood will have the same tax rate.

Oakwood City Council gave its final OK Monday to a rate of 2.48 mills, with 1 mill equal to $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value. Property is assessed at 40 percent in the city.

Mayor Lamar Scroggs and Councilwoman Martha Collins were absent for the vote.

Tax bills will be mailed out Dec. 1 and taxes are due Feb. 1.

The taxes will help pay for a proposed $3.6 million general fund budget, which becomes effective Jan. 1.

A tough economy has pinched the city’s finances, including special purpose local option sales tax revenue, which is expected to drop to $360,000 from $620,000 in this year’s budget.

Also, the city is having to dip into its reserves by $315,000 to make ends meet, but City Manager Stan Brown has noted that the city is paying for land as part of a long-range plan to develop the downtown area.

The city also is hoping to eventually extend sewer into the downtown area but has designated no money toward that effort next year.

Oakwood is expected to hold a public hearing on the budget at 6 p.m. Nov. 1, with budget adoption set for Nov. 8.

Longtime Councilman Montie Robinson, who presided over Monday’s meeting as mayor pro tem, recalled a time when Oakwood’s growth was nil and taxes were as high as 11 mills.

“We started cutting it down every time we could,” said Robinson, a councilman since 1976.

The turnaround began with a philosophy change concerning growth.

“We needed to make some kind of mission statement,” Robinson said.

Oakwood started to grow, slowly at first. And development helped rake in tax money.

“There wasn’t any big boom,” Robinson said.

 The population grew from about 700 in the late 1970s to about 5,400 today.

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