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Fayetteville sets lower millage rate, expects lower tax digest

It is the time of year to set the millage rate, which determines how much money you will owe this fall on your property tax bill.

The Fayetteville City Council on Aug. 18 is expected to adopt a combined general fund and capital projects millage rate that will equal a two-one-hundreths percent decrease in the rollback millage rate of 3.442 mills.

The council will also hear that the city’s tax digest — the value of all taxable property — fell by 5.86 percent from last year.

City finance staff are proposing a general fund millage rate of 2.691 mills and a capital projects rate of .75 mills for a total of 3.441 mills. The rollback rate, said finance director Lynn Robinson, will generate $491 in fewer tax dollars than last year.

The tax digest numbers came with a decrease for the second year in a row. The 5.86 percent decrease for 2011 leads to a mill equalling $794,000 and translates into a total tax digest with billable taxes of $2,732,222, said Robinson.

As with many communities, the recession that acts more like a depression continues to play havoc with the value of the real and personal property calculations that make up the overwhelming majority of a tax digest.

In Fayetteville’s case, real and person property values peaked in 2008 at $886.22 million, falling slightly to $876.45 million in 2009 and down more sharply in 2010 to $802.64 million. Real and personal property figures for 2011 are $754.96 million.

Fayetteville continues to maintain a reserve equivalent to three months of operating expenses.

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