Fayette to enact 2 tax increases in rollup and E-911 levy

All Fayette County residents and businesses will see a .207 mill property tax increase this year thanks to the new E-911 property tax that is being instituted at the behest of Fayette’s municipalities.

But the Fayette County Commission is also electing to raise the general fund millage rate by .245 mills to offset declining property values. This process, called a “rollup,” also will affect every property in the county, though by varying degrees. Property owners who won a decrease in their fair market value won’t be hit as hard as those whose properties retained their previous year’s fair market value.

A third property tax hit will come only to properties located solely in the unincorporated county, Brooks, Woolsey and Tyrone. Those residents will also face a .388 mill increase on their property tax bill for fire services, counteracted by a reduction in the EMS service property tax by .132 mills.

The fire tax increase does not affect residents of Peachtree City and Fayetteville, as they are not charged a county fire tax since both cities offer their own fire service. Because Fayetteville does receive county EMS services, Fayetteville residents will realize the millage drop of .132 mills in that category on their tax bill.

The E-911 tax is being enacted at the request of Fayette’s municipalities, who have argued their residents are paying twice for the service since it is funded by the general funds from the cities and also the county’s general fund.

Under an agreement with the county, the cities will continue to pay under the current arrangement for the next two years to build up funds to retire the remaining capital debt on the E-911 system.

This year, the county is expected to pay in $364,000, with Peachtree City paying $253,000, Fayetteville paying $117,649 and Tyrone paying $50,756. Those figures are based on the population of each of Fayette’s municipalities and the unincorporated county.

The decision to raise the fire tax came after county staff revealed that the fund would dip heavily into its reserves for the upcoming fiscal year, and thereafter be in the red without the increase.

The blame for the shortfalls was placed on declining property values, which in turn led to less revenue for the fire service.

The county commission will hold its third and final public hearing on the millage rate increases at its regular meeting Thursday, which starts at 7 p.m. at the county’s Stonewall government complex in downtown Fayetteville. Following the public hearing, the commission is slated to vote on the tax increases.

Of some 18 counties with a population of more than 100,000, only three have a millage rate lower than Fayette County, according to data prepared by county staff.

The millage rate is a figure that applies dollars and cents to how much will be assessed for every $1,000 in fair market value on a given property after deductions are taken.

Fayette County’s proposed general fund millage rate will be set at $5.645 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for a given property. This rate applies to all properties in the county, regardless of whether they are in a city or not.

The millage rate being set for fire service, paid only by residents in Tyrone, Brooks, Woolsey and the unincorporated county will be set at $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for a given property.

The millage rate being set for EMS service, paid by residents in Fayetteville, Tyrone, Brooks, Woolsey and the unincorporated county will be set at 45 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation for a given property.

The millage rate being set for the new property tax on E-911 services is 20.7 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation for a given property.

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