Updated: Jul 22
The tentative 14.91 mills rate - unchanged from the current year - will result in an increase in overall property tax revenue for the county, and is scheduled for final adoption on Friday, July 31, immediately following the final public hearing.
Stephens County Commissioners, at Tuesday’s regular meeting, unanimously voted to tentatively set the county’s millage rate at 14.91 mills. While this rate is unchanged from the 2019-20 millage rate, it represents an estimated $75,000 increase in the total amount of tax revenue the county will collect, due to the increase in the tax digest.
Stephens County’s rollback rate, or the millage rate that would result in the county collecting the same amount of tax revenue as the current year, was calculated at 14.789 mills – a reduction of 0.82 percent.
Under Georgia law, any time a taxing authority elects not to adopt the calculated rollback rate, officials must tentatively adopt their proposed rate, and then follow the required public hearing requirements set in place for tax increases, even if the millage rate they plan to adopt is unchanged from the current year. Only after holding the three required public hearings, allowing citizens the opportunity to address commissioners regarding the proposed tax rate and the resulting tax revenue it will generate, will officials be able to officially adopt the tentative rate.
The public hearings for the Stephens County Tentative Millage Rate of 14.91 mills are scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 23, 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, and 8:30 a.m. on Friday, July 31. The commission is expected to adopt the 14.91 mills rate immediately following the July 31 public hearing. Due to Stephens County’s COVID-19 response, all three public hearings will be conduced by teleconference. All citizens are invited to participate in the public hearings and will be invited to speak to commissioners during the hearing.
To participate in, or listen to, the public hearings and/or the final adoption of the millage rate, call (425) 436-6345 and enter the access number 585174# at the time of the hearing.
Facts and Figures
If the 14.91 millage rate is approved and adopted as the County’s 2020-21 millage rate:
Individuals who saw a reduction in the assessed value of their property compared to the 2019-20 value will pay approximately $6 less for every $1,000 that the property value decreased. Out of the county’s total number of property parcels, 13.6 percent fall into this category.
Individuals who experienced no change in their property value will pay the same amount in county property taxes as they did for 2019-20. According to Stephens County Chief Appraiser Christian Collier, 46.59 percent of the county’s property parcels fall into this category – having no change in their assessed value to the 2019-20 value.
Individuals who saw an increase in the assessed value of their property compared to the 2019-20 value will pay approximately $6 more for every $1,000 that the property value increase. For example, if a property’s assessed value increased by 1,000, they will pay roughly $6 more for the county’s portion of the property tax bill, while an property owner whose property increased in assessed value by $5,000 will see an increase of $30 in the county’s portion of their tax bill. According to Collier, 18 percent of the county’s property parcels saw an increase in property value between $1 and $1,000, while 10 percent saw an increase of $1,001 to $5,000.
Property that is included in a Conservation Use Covenant will not be impacted, as taxes for those properties are not tied to real estate market values.