June 19, 2007

Will your property taxes increase this year?
Yes, if there is no rollback or decrease of the millage rate!

Believe it or not, the County budget has gone from $6million in 2006 to over $9million in 2007, with another proposed increase for 2008. Asking how the budget could increase so dramatically produces no answers. TWG still suspects it has something to do with the County Manager and CFO not understanding that taxes collected in December of one year fund the budget for the next year. In some miraculous way, "2006 actual figures" produced a "surplus" of $2.9 million. Actual 2006 figures, as shown on the Budget worksheet, had Revenues of $8,622,400 and Expenses of $5,703,795. The following chart shows the "Budget" figures:

  Budget** Increase % Increase
2006 Budget 6,240,963    
    2,915,440 46.71%
2007 Budget 9,156,403    
    128,858 1.41%
Proposed 2008 Budget 9,285,261    
**Per "public copy of budget"      

To view the budget you can go to the following link--since TWG questioned the use of the county website, a few things have been added—
www.jaspercountyga.org Go to the Finance link and click on 2008 Budget


Everyone that owns property is aware that their values are increasing. As the values increase, the tax digest increases. The tax digest determines the taxable value of properties in the County. As shown in the following chart, values of real property increased from 2006 to 2007 by $174 million. The chart shows that "Exemptions", such as conservation, homestead exemption, non-taxable property such as schools and churches, cut the FMV of the property in half.

The taxable value of property in Jasper County increased by $35 million or 8.66% from 2006 to 2007.

Jasper County Tax Digest
% Increase
FMV Real Property
FMV Other--timber, vehicles, etc.
Less Exemptions—Homestead conservation, etc.
FMV of Property
40% of FMV= Taxable Value
Total Tax Digest Increase from 2006 to 2007

Increasing values make it easy for the Commissioners, School Board, and City Council to say they are not increasing the millage rate. They don't have to increase the millage rate to bring in more tax money if values have increased. If there is no decrease in the millage rate this year, the property owners will cough up another million dollars in taxes.

Taxable Digest Increase 35,417,562
Millage rate from 2006 28.60
Additional Taxes Collected with Digest Increase
if no decrease in millage rate in 2007


Remember--Taxable Digest x mils = Taxes billed

  2006 Digest tax collected Increased tax collected** 2007 Digest
tax collected
% of taxes
State 0.25 102,290 8,854 111,145 0.87%
County 12.59 5,151,341 445,907 5,597,248 44.02%
Schools 14.76 6,039,221 522,763 6,561,984 51.61%
School Bond 1.00 409,161 35,418 444,579 3.50%
TOTALS 28.60 11,702,013 1,012,942 12,714,955 100.00%
**Total Additional taxes collected without Rollback of Millage

This is a 8.656% tax increase over 2006
The taxpayers need and deserve a rollback of the millage rate.

As the above chart shows, the Commissioners are not responsible for the majority of your taxes; the School Board is. Rarely does the public complain or even attend the budget hearings of the School Board; yet they determine over 55% of the property tax bill. During the quest the SPLOST for the new High School, Jay Brinson said that there would be an additional $1 million needed to staff, supply, and "run" the new school. TWG predicts the School Board will again raise their part of the millage even though increased values will provide the Schools with more than $550,000 in additional income.


The county budget is increasing 1.41% based on the "best" figures we can obtain. TWG continues to question the budget from 2006 to 2007 as it shows an increase of 47%. TWG also questions the continued increases in 2008 and continue to wonder where is the $2.9 million surplus. Each time the County hires a new County Manager and/or CFO, the budget is done differently, making it extremely hard to compare. The digest is always done the same, so we can compare the values of the property from year to year and the increases. The millage rate is what determines your property tax bill; not the increase in the value.

2006 Value 100,000 x 40% x 28.60 mils = tax 1,144
2007 Value 150,000 x 40% x 28.60 mils = tax 1,716
2007 Value with lower millage rate to 26.30 mils = tax 1,578

When we find out the increases in the School budget and City budget, we will compare those figures and let you know the increases. Those budgets have already been set and approved.


Mission Statement:
** To keep the taxpayers of Jasper County, Georgia informed as to where and
how their tax dollars are being spent.
** To keep the taxpayers abreast of local policies and laws bein
g discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government sp
ending, and lower property taxes.

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