September 4, 2006
Valuations, Tax Digest, Budgets, and Millage Rate
These 4 items work together to determine your property
taxes every year. This year the County has had property
valuations and a timely tax digest. The tax digest shows
which properties are taxable and at what value they are
set. The budget shows how much the county will need
to operate (for 2007). This is the vital part of the formula
that doesn’t exist. After the taxable values are
known, the county sets the millage to bring in the amount
of needed revenues to fund the budget. (Digest x millage
= budget revenues needed)
For the second year, our BOC has set the millage without
setting a budget. Last year it looked as if there would
be a significant shortfall; however, the 2005
audit reveals that the county brought in $2 million more
than it spent! The audit shows that $7 million
was spent; however, the new millage rate was set on “guess-ti-mates”
by the County Manager of $8.4 million. That’s
a 20% increase over what was actually spent in 2005.
Are the taxpayers
going to be overtaxed again in 2006 for the 2007 budget?
There are no real figures. The County Manager admitted all
he did was take last year’s budgets (not actual
figures) and guessed at what they might be
for this year. Where does that leave departments like Public
Works? This department depends on materials and gasoline
that are ever increasing in price—certainly significantly
higher than when the 2006 budget was set. What about the
Assessors office? They should have a budget that has over
$100,000 extra since they aren’t hiring outside consultants
to do a revaluation of property.
budget is not all that large and does not have a lot of
unknowns. Proposing a millage rate without a budget is a
pretty sad commentary on the Manager and the Commissioners
who are his supervisors.
We need answers
to many questions concerning the budget and to other issues
of concern to the citizens. We again encourage our Chairman
to hold those town hall meetings he campaigned on “to get
public input.” Comm. Bernard stated in his column in the
Monticello News (8/31/06) –
“With the help
of the taxpayers of Jasper County, we can continue to keep
tax increases to a minimum. But, we cannot do it alone;
we need your active support and assistance to
TWG is encouraged
that the Chairman is asking for assistance from the public.
We just hope he takes the good advice and ideas that many
You can read
Comm. Bernard’s entire column at www.themonticellonews.com
under “Guest Columnist”.
** 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 being discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government spending,
and lower property taxes.