Tax bills lower this year, even with PTC’s 1.25 mill hike
It’s the time of the year for Fayette County property owners to find their annual tax bill in the mailbox. And for those who have yet to open the envelope there is likely a surprise waiting inside.
A combination of property values decreasing by 7.5 percent and a decrease in the Fayette County School System’s bond debt millage rate resulted in a tax bill that is approximately $200 less than last year for a home valued at $200,000.
Fayette County Tax Commissioner George Wingo said his office mailed 40,867 bills for real property and another 2,197 for personal property totaling $140,149,147.
And with taxes for motor vehicles and mobile homes at $10,697,702, Wingo said taxes will total $150,846,849.
That number represents a decrease of approximately $20 million from 2009 receipts.
Wingo said the variables accounting for the $20 million decrease this year are two-fold. Most significant, in terms of total dollars, was the 7.5 percent decrease in property values that accounted for nearly $11.8 million of the $20 million decrease.
The other was the decrease in the Fayette County School System’s debt millage rate that fell from 3.42 mills to 1.65 mills. That decrease amounted to $8.77 million less in taxes billed this year, said Wingo.
As for how 2010 compares to 2009, last year Wingo’s office sent out essentially the same number of tax bills, though the total amounts billed were markedly different.
In 2009 the county billed for approximately $20 million more than in 2010. Those figures included $157,080,795 in real and personal property and $13,297,602 in motor vehicle and mobile home taxes for a total of $170,378,397.
And pertaining to 2010, Tax Assessor Joel Benton said there is a moratorium in effect this year on reassessments. Subsequently, there was no change in a property’s value unless improvements were made to that property.
Benson also noted that that deadline for appealing assessments was June 17, adding that most of the appeals had made their way through the appeals process.
And up next year, Benton said, changes in the law will require that an assessment be issued for all property, even if there was no change in value. In previous years, property owners only received an assessment notice if there was a change in the property’s value.
Also contributing to this year’s lower tax bills is the fact that the county and municipalities held steady on the millage rate despite the effects of the recession.
The exception was Peachtree City, where the council on a 3-2 vote increased the rate by 1.25 mills.