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County to increase 2018 property taxes

The Pike County board of commissioners announced it will increase 2018 property taxes this year and will levy a 4.12 percent increase over the rollback millage rate. The county has reduced taxes for three of the past six years. See the full five-year tax levy history ad on page 3A. In May, commissioners approved the 2018-19 Fiscal Year budget – with an increase of about $380,000 from the previous year’s budget. When the budget was approved, tax digest numbers had not been released. All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held at the Pike County courthouse courtroom, 16001 Barnesville Street in Zebulon at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12 and at 9 a.m. Sept. 19. Each year, the board of tax assessors is required to review the assessed value for property tax purposes of taxable property in the county. When the trend of prices on properties that have recently sold in the county indicate there has been an increase in the fair market value of any specific property, the board of tax assessors is required by law to re-determine the value of such property and adjust the assessment. This is called a reassessment. When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires that the 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. The budget tentatively adopted by the Pike County Board of Commissioners requires that a millage rate higher than the rollback millage rate, therefore, before the Pike County Board of Commissioners may finalize the tentative budget and set a final millage rate, Georgia law requires three public hearings to be held to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the increase. The county’s $12.1 million budget is slightly higher than the $11.9 million budget for FY 2017-18 – and that budget was nearly $200,000 less than the previous year. The county’s $10.7 million in general fund expenditures and will create the Economic Development Department with a $48,000 salary for the executive director. The budget also includes a 3 percent raise for all employees and new equipment and supplies for public works to patch roads, replace culverts, fill potholes and resurface roads. The budget includes funding for the new Planning and Development position of Administrative Assistant. The registrar and elections expenses will be higher because it is an election year. Building and grounds will improve exterior trim of the courthouse. The jail expense is increasing because of employees shifting from one department to another. The coroner’s office has had an increase in deaths. The Agribusiness Authority will need maintenance and plans to add an arena top. Both the fire department and animal control will have additional equipment and maintenance costs.

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