Dougherty County to hold public hearings on property taxes

Michael McCoy

ALBANY — Dougherty County commissioners are not raising the tax rate, but some county taxpayers could see an increase if the value of their property increased from the previous year.

The commission maintained the same property tax rate for the 2020-2021 budget year, but the increase in property values will bring in about .39 percent more to the county’s coffers.

The state considers an overall increase in taxes collected a tax increase, even though the tax rate itself was not increased, and requires a series of public hearings, Dougherty County Administrator Michael McCoy said.

Property owners who did not see an increase in property values will not pay more, while those whose property declined in value will pay less, all other things being equal.

Under state law, local governments are considered to have raised taxes when the amount of increase in the tag digest is reduced so that the amount of revenue remains the same as the previous year.

“When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires that a rollback millage rate must be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred,” the county said in a news release. “The budget tentatively adopted by the Dougherty County Board of Commissioners requires a millage rate higher than the rollback millage rate, therefore, before the Dougherty County Board of Commissioners may finalize the tentative budget and set a final millage rate, Georgia law requires three public hearings to be held to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the increase.”

Commissioners will hold the required public hearings on the proposed tax issue at 10 a.m. on Aug. 10, at 6 p.m. on Aug. 10 and at 10 a.m. on Aug. 17.

The hearings will be in-person meetings in Room 100 of the downtown Albany-Dougherty Government Center.

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