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Tax revenue ahead of last years pace
Officials say too early to speculate on final tally
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As state government officials gleefully watch tax-generated revenue fill Georgia’s coffers at a pace eclipsing last year’s rate of tax collections, Hall County administrators also point to increased collections. But they stopped short of predicting being on track to hit their targeted $96.95 million revenue budget for fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.

County officials also indicated it’s too premature to speculate whether taxpayers are in line for another property-tax rate rollback.

Taxes being collected through Hall County’s Local Option Sales Tax and Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax have each increased 2.7 percent through Nov. 30 of fiscal 2017 over the same time period last year, according to  Zach Propes, Hall County’s financial services director.

Propes said the county is projected to bring in $22.36 million from LOST revenues, or about 23 percent of of the fiscal 2017 revenue budget. SPLOST revenue, which is kept in a separate fund, is projected to come in close to $30 million.

Year-to-date, SPLOST collections are at about 42 percent of budget, which Propes said is comparable to last year’s pace.

“The majority of our revenue comes from property tax,” Propes said. “We had estimated there would be a slight increase.”

Propes estimates that about 40.1 percent of the almost $97 million revenue budget will be generated by property tax — or more than $39 million.

Yet, given the financial picture currently on hand, county officials are not ready to say whether they expect to exceed, fall short or hit the mark.

“We can’t speculate on that at this point,” said Katie Crumley, a spokeswoman for Hall County government.

Hall County Administrator Randy Knighton also declined to speculate whether the revenue trend would bring about another reduction in the property tax or millage rate. Knighton said that would be a policy decision to be made by elected officials.

“As administrator, I along with the staff have the responsibility of ensuring the commission members are fully informed of the present and projected fiscal status of the county,” Knight told The Times. “We as staff do not make a recommendation of the millage rate.”

The Hall County Commission voted to roll back the millage rate from 5.735 mills to 5.716 mills in 2016.

Earlier this month, Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Georgia’s tax revenue collections year-to date totaled about $8.8 billion — an increase of almost $400 million or 4.8 percent more than was collected through November 2015.