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County, schools to raise millage rates

Both Pike County commissioners and the school board will increase millage rates due in part to decreasing property values in the area. Commissioners will increase the property taxes by 10.83% over the rollback millage rate and the school board will increase taxes by 1.55% over the rollback rate. The county has not raised taxes in three years. The proposed increase would set Pike’s portion of the millage at 14.073 mills, an increase of 1.375 mills. ’When you look at county taxes levied over the past several years, there were decreases in 2011, 2012 and 2013,’ said county manager John Hanson. ‘A number of factors led to this year’s increase ‘“ with the digest being down and the needs for our roads ‘“ this is necessary to improve county infrastructure. The budget has been studied diligently and this year additional dollars are set aside for road improvements. It’s time we focus on our roads and put money in our infrastructure. That’s an area that has been needing attention for some time. That’s what our focus with this budget is.’ Pike’s proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $150,000 is around $82.50. For a non-homestead property with a fair market value of $100,000 it would be around $55.72. The county will hold public hearings on the tax increase at the courthouse annex at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Aug. 13 with the final public hearing Aug. 26 at 5 p.m. A special called meeting will he held at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 26 to set the millage rate. The school board increase will set the millage rate at 15.46 mills, an increase of .236 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $150,000 is about $14 a year and the proposed tax increase for a non-homestead property with a fair market value of $100,000 is around $9 a year. ’Local revenue for the school system has remained virtually level the last six years and well below pre-recession levels despite drastic cuts in state funding and increases in fuel and health care costs,’ said superintendent Dr. Michael Duncan. ‘For the sixth year in a row the collective property value in Pike declined. The decrease necessitates the board of education raise the millage rate by a small amount to hold local funding steady.’Â  The school board will hold public hearings at the Pike County Memorial Building adjacent to Ruth’s Restaurant Thursday, Aug. 7 at 11:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. with a third hearing Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. A called meeting to finalize the millage rate will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14. Each year, tax assessors must review the assessed value of taxable property in Pike. When the trend of prices on properties that have recently sold indicate there has been a change in the fair market value of any specific properties, the assessors must re-determine the value of such properties and adjust the assessment. This is called a reassessment. When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires that a rollback millage rate must be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred.

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