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Douglasville, GA- The Douglas County Board of Commissioners rolled back the property tax millage rate to accommodate for the increase in property values for 2018. The action took place during the Board's regular legislative voting session on Tuesday, August 21st.
The value of land in Douglas County has risen over the past year as the economy continues to improve. The County Commissioners voted not to increase taxes after seeing property values rise more than seven percent in one year. Property valuation procedures are established by the Georgia Department of Revenue and include such things as comparable sales in a neighborhood.
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners rolled back the county government's part of the property tax rate by 0.555 mills to 10.213. State law defines any millage rate higher than 10.213 mills to be a tax increase and would have required the commission to hold public hearings. The value of one mill for 2018 is $4.4 million, county spokesman Rick Martin said.
Land values in Douglas County have risen over the past year as the economy continues to improve, Martin said. The Douglas County Appraisal Department's assessments resulted in 82 percent of properties in the county increasing in value; 12 percent of properties having no change in value; and 6 percent decreasing in value, he said. The Georgia Department of Revenue establishes procedures for property valuations, which include such considerations as comparable sales in a neighborhood, he said.
The gross tax digest is the total net assessed value of real property – land – and personal property, motor vehicles, timber, mobile homes and heavy-duty equipment. From that digest are subtracted approved exemptions and forest land protection. The result is the net tax digest. The net tax digest for Douglas County increased 7.02 percent, which equals $490 million in value.
The reassessment of property accounted for 78 percent of the digest growth. The remaining 22 percent is from new growth, such as new development in the county. The year 2018 marks the fifth straight year of positive new growth in the county after the Great Recession, he said. Residential properties compose 57.08 percent of the tax digest, commercial properties 25.35 percent, industrial properties 12.67 percent, with utilities, motor vehicles, conservation, agriculture and other smaller categories completing the digest.
State law requires the millage rate to be rolled back for any increase in the net tax digest due to the rise in property values, or advertise and hold three public hearings on the increase in tax revenue even if the millage rate remains the same as the year before. The Douglas County Board of Education and the cities of Douglasville, Austell and Villa Rica set their own property tax rates, and are not included in the rate set by the county. Property tax notices are usually issued by the Douglas County Tax Commissioner in September with payment due in mid-November. On average, Douglas County government receives 32.83 percent and the Douglas County Board of Education/School System receives 67.17 percent of tax revenues in the unincorporated county.