Grovetown Millage Rate rises for first time in nearly a decade

GROVETOWN, Ga. (WJBF)-- - "We know growth is coming, so we are trying to stay ahead of it," City Administrator John Waller explained. 

It's been nearly a decade since Grovetown has increased its millage rate, but after Monday night's public hearing-- that changed. 

The city has kept consistent, 6.9 mills since 2009, but between the increase in population and lack of general funds, council voted to raise it to 8 mills: "We only have 4.8 square miles within the city limits, and we've got 6 residential projects on tap right now and two commercial projects," Waller told NewsChannel 6.

To break it down, A mill is 1 tax dollar for every $1,000 in assessed property value. But only 40% of the total property value is used to calculate those taxes. For example if you own a $100,000 home, $40,000 would be taxed. So with the previous 6.9 millage rate, you'd pay about $280 a year. But with 8 mills, that same homeowner would pay about $340-- roughly a $50 difference per year. 

But what brings in the most money for the city... property taxes from businesses: "K.J.'s market... It would take about 30 residences worth of revenue to equal what we get in property taxes from K.J.'s each year," Waller explained. 

Raising the millage rate will bring in an extra $400,000 each year. The city plans to use that money by hiring two additional police officers, a dispatcher, two firemen and and one training officer; Also replace outdated fire equipment. On top of that, there are plans to bring on a city planner and an additional building inspector.

We asked Waller what other general fund projects can be expected in the future: "Leisure and recreation, streets and sanitation or municipal courts... everything that is paid for by the general fund all needs something."

You can expect to see that millage rate raise come November. 

Photojournalist: Antony Sherrod

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