This morning the county will discuss raising the millage rate, and they will vote on it Tuesday evening, with a third millage hearing half an hour before the voting session.
As County Manager Joe Pritchard reminded them July 25th, it’s time for the annual millage rate setting. As usual, their agenda doesn’t say what they’re setting it to. There’s a number in a linked document:
The Board of Commissioners is required to set the county-wide millage for 2016. Three public hearings on the adoption have been held prior to this adoption as required. The county-wide millage should be set at 11.224 mills with the County receiving 8.974 mills, the Industrial Authority receiving 1.00 mill and the Parks and Recreation Authority receiving 1.25 mills.
OPTIONS: Adoption of the county-wide millage at 11.224 mills
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Adoption of the county-wide millage at 11.224 mills
DEPARTMENT: Finance Department Head: Stephanie Black
ADMINISTRATIVE COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATION:
Actually, two public millage hearings have been held, according to the county’s calendar, both on August 16th 2016, one at 8:30 AM and the other at 6PM. No agenda and no further details were posted on the county’s website for either. If they posted a public notice in the newspaper, I can’t find it online, and of course it’s not on Finance Department web page either.
It’s no wonder nobody showed up for the first millage hearing, as reported by the VDT.
That same day the County Commission also had a Special Called Meeting at 5:45 PM for “Approval of grant documents as requested by the Valdosta- Lowndes County Development Authority”. No agenda nor details for that meeting, either. Which grant documents? For how much? And “approval” probably means, like previous county approvals of VLCIA grants, that the county taxpayers are guaranteeing a VLCIA grant.
According to the county’s calendar, the third millage hearing is 5:00-5:30 PM Tuesday August 23rd 2016, just before the Regular Session tomorrow.
No comparison to previous years was included anywhere on the county’s website that I can find. In 2014 they raised the millage to 8.233 mills or 10.483 mills including VLCIA and VLPRA. So this appears to be an increase of 0.741 mills.
According to Michael Praats, VDT, 17 Aug 2016, Tax hearing presented to empty room,
The county proposes the millage be set at 8.974 mills, an increase of 11.37 percent, according to county officials.
Actually, 8.974/8.233 is 9%. So did they actually raise it to a different number in 2014, or did they decrease it in 2015, or what?
According to the Georgia Department of Revenue’s Tax Digest Millage Rates, Lowndes County’s unincorporated area millage was 7.804 in 2015 and 8.310 in 2014. So apparenntly they raised it to a different number in 2014, decreased it in 2015, and now they’re raising it again. The proposed new rate of 8.974 isn’t 11% more than any of these numbers. If the county posted Finance Director Stephanie Black’s presentation slides online, maybe we’d know what she was talking about.
Here’s the agenda for this morning’s Work Session and tomorrow’s Regular Session.
LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, AUGUST 22, 2016, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2016, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor
- Call to Order
- Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
- Minutes for Approval
- For Consideration
- Adoption of Millage
Adoption of the county-wide millage at 11.224 mills
Documents:Adoption of Millage.pdf
- Declaration of Surplus – Computer Equipment
Declare the computer equipment surplus and authorize the sale on GovDeals.com
- Core Network Equipment Refresh
Approval of equipment refresh
Documents:Core Network Equipment Refresh.pdf
- Generator Service and Load Bank
Provide annual service and load bank test on 45 generators for the Lowndes County Utilities Department.
Documents:Generator Service and Load Bank.pdf
- Reports – County Manager
- Citizens Wishing to be Heard-Please State Your Name and Address
Investigative reporting costs money, for open records requests, copying, web hosting, gasoline, and cameras, and with sufficient funds we can pay students to do further research. You can donate to LAKE today!