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Friday, August 17, 2007

Millage Rate FAQ's

The following FAQs provide additional detail surrounding commonly asked questions regarding millage rates. Should you require additional information, please contact the City of Milton at info@cityofmiltonga.us, or by phone at 6782422500.

What is a "millage rate?"

The millage rate is a multiplier applied against the value of property in order to calculate property taxes.

How does the millage rate affect a property owner?

Property owners pay taxes on real and personal property using the millage rate approved by the government. The millage rate can change from year to year, either by an increase or by a decrease.

Why does the government collect property taxes?

In Milton, property tax is the largest source of revenue and is used to fund service delivery such as police protection, fire prevention and suppression, zoning and permitting, code enforcement, public works, recreation services, parks maintenance, and other essential services.

How are my property taxes computed?

Following is an example of how property taxes would be computed on a $350,000 home using the millage rate of 4.731:

Appraised Home Value $350,000
Calculated assessed Home Value (40% of appraised value) $140,000
City of Milton Basic Homestead Exemption <$15,000>
HTRG Credit <$ 8,000>
Home Value subject to property taxes $117,000
Millage Rate Applied for Property Tax Due ($117,000 x 4.731) / 1000 $553.53

What is the current millage rate?

The City’s current budget for fiscal year 2007 (October 1, 2006 – September 30, 2007) is based on a millage rate of 4.731 mills. This is the millage rate being adopted in August for tax bills mailed around September 1, 2007.

Why are we approving a millage rate for a budget that has already been in effect for eleven months?

The City must receive a certified tax digest from Fulton County prior to adopting a millage rate. This digest was received from Fulton County in July 2007. We anticipate this will occur in June in future years.

Why not lower the millage rate now?

The millage rate for fiscal year 2007 must stay the same due to balanced operating budget currently active for funding city operations.

Why not lower the millage rate in the future?

The City is in its infancy and must look at longterm financial stability, especially in the early years. Sound financial footing includes an operating reserve equal to two months expenditures, much like a family’s savings account. There are also numerous capital and infrastructure improvements throughout the city that need funding. Maintaining a 4.731 millage rate is contributing to a strong financial foundation and the City’s longterm financial success.

What other forms of tax relief does the City offer?

The City offers a basic homestead exemption of $15,000 for each primary residence within our borders. We also have additional senior and full exemptions for those who qualify. The City publishes a Property Tax Guide with details on all homestead exemptions.

What is the HTRG Credit?

The HTRG credit, if shown on your tax bill, is the result of the Homeowner’s Tax Relief Grant enacted by the Governor and the General Assembly of the State of Georgia. In order to qualify, you must have received another homestead exemption. If you have applied for a homestead exemption, you do not need to take further action to qualify for the HTRG Credit. The HTRG is credited in an amount not to exceed $8,000.

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