Oakwood residents could see a tax increase in 2018, even as the city considers keeping the tax rate the same.
As with other area cities, Oakwood residents are seeing higher property values as result of reassessments. And that means higher property tax bills unless governments reduce the tax rate.
For Oakwood to remain revenue neutral, it would have to drop the rate to 3.937 mills from the current 4.174 mills. One mill is equal to $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value.
But the South Hall city is proposing keeping the rate at 4.174, the city announced this week in a press release.
The council’s “direction is to maintain the current rate in order to meet 2018 budget goals and accommodate anticipated 2018 expenses for operating, capital and debt service,” City Manager Stan Brown said.
“The budget tentatively adopted by (City Council) requires a millage rate higher than the rollback millage rate,” the press release states.
Because of that act, under Georgia law, the city needs to hold three public hearings.
Oakwood City Council
What: Public hearings on the 2018 tax rate
When: 6 p.m. Monday, 6 p.m. Oct. 2 and 6 p.m. Oct. 9Where: City Hall, 4035 Walnut Circle
The hearings are set for 6 p.m. Monday, 6 p.m. Oct. 2 and 6 p.m. Oct. 9 at City Hall, 4035 Walnut Circle.
A few years ago, as with many governments climbing out of the recession, Oakwood was in a financial hole, facing debt repayments and capital improvement needs.
At that point, not only did the city increase the tax rate by 50 percent but plotted how finances might play out in coming years.
Also, at the time, to help make ends meet the city went without filling six positions, including assistant city manager, planning director and police clerk.
The city has rebounded economically, and, earlier this year, the City Council signed off on Brown filling three new positions, including a planning director.
The new budget year starts Jan. 1.