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Coweta millage rate weathers recessionary storm

The adoption of Coweta County’s 2012 millage rate will be up for a vote by the County Commission on Aug. 21. As it stands now, property owners in the incorporated areas will see the same rate as last year while property owners in the unincorporated will see a small decrease in the millage rate.

County Finance Director Hans Wilson at the Aug. 7 meeting recommended that commissioners maintain the millage rate for the incorporated areas at 7.79 mills. As for the unincorporated areas, Wilson recommended that the rate be decreased by .14 mills, from 6.8 down to 6.66 mills.

Wilson said public hearings will not be required to accompany the recommendations since both millage rates are less than an state rollback rate.

The recommendation on the millage rates was, to some degree, as result of the state of the overall local economy. Millage rates are often a reflection of the condition of the tax digest, the overall value of property within a county or municipality. And for Coweta, the tax digest figures recently released show that the county has not suffered as much as some surrounding counties during the continuing recession. Case in point, the tax digest for Coweta’s unincorporated areas decreased by 1.7 percent while the incorporated areas decreased by 5.6 percent. The combined decrease was 2.9 percent, Wilson said.

Put in perspective, the tax digest in Fayette County decreased 10.39 percent this year, a drop that represents nearly $500 million in property values.

Wilson at the meeting also recommended that the Fire District millage rate hold steady at 2.5 mills along with the Fire Bond District rate at .46 mills.

The Fire Bond District was created in 2009 to pay the debt service on the 2009 General Obligation Fire Bonds approved by voter referendum in November 2008. The Fire Bond District millage rate will be re-evaluated each year in light of the amount of debt service due in the coming fiscal year. For fiscal year 2013, the amount of debt service required will result in a .46 millage rate to meet this requirement based on the net total tax digest for 2012, Wilson said.

Wilson also noted that the Coweta County Board of Education is considering holding its millage rate steady at 18.59 mills.


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