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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Letter from Mayor Joe Lockwood, City Of Milton

September 13, 2007

Dear Milton Residents:

This year's tax bills have been a source of confusion and frustration for many Milton residents. Not only did you receive two tax bills, but many of you saw what appeared to be a tax increase. Let me reassure you that the City of Milton did not increase your property tax or your tax rates. I and my fellow City Council members promised you that we would not increase your taxes when Milton became a city, and we've kept that promise.

So why would some of you see a higher tax bill? There are two possible reasons.

First, the Fulton County Tax Assessor's office reassessed around 80% of the properties in Milton this year, resulting in a higher property value for many Milton residents. This reassessment was part of the County's procedures related to home sales and fair market value, and was in no way related to the incorporation of Milton. If your property was not reassessed in 2007, then the total of your tax bills from Milton and Fulton County was slightly lower this year. If your property value increased due to Fulton County's reassessment, your property tax bill increased. The timing of Fulton County's reassessment and increased valuation could not have come at a worse time as the City of Milton entered into its first year of billing property taxes to its residents.

Second, many Milton residents were eligible for senior exemptions but failed to file for these exemptions. If you are age 65 or older, you qualify for a minimum $10,000 exemption, and could qualify for a full tax exemption.

The deadline to file for a senior exemption has passed, but we want to make sure that all eligible taxpayers get the full senior exemption to which they are entitled. We have, therefore, extended the deadline for filing and will continue to accept applications for exemptions. If you believe you are eligible for a senior exemption that you did not receive, please call the City's tax department at 678-242-2500, so that we can take your application and send a corrected tax bill.

We have received more than 250 calls from people who have questions or concerns about tax bills. Most questions were easily answered, and we were able to apply exemptions for those who qualified. I'm sure there are still many of you who still have questions or would like more information. A Town Hall Meeting will be held at City Hall on September 19th at 6:30 p.m., and we invite you to come, ask questions, and get more information.

In the meantime, I personally am here to help you and welcome your call. If you have questions or feel your tax bill is incorrect, please contact me personally at joe.lockwood@cityofmiltonga.us. We look forward to seeing you at the Town Hall Meeting.

Sincerely,
Joe Lockwood
Mayor

Mark Your Calendars!
Town Hall Meeting - September 19th at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall

Incorporated on Dec. 1, 2006, the City of Milton is a distinctive community embracing small-town life and heritage while preserving and enhancing our rural character.
The City of Milton is committed to maintaining the unique quality of life for our constituents while efficiently delivering essential services to residents and businesses in a community interactive environment.

For more information, visit city's Web site at wwww.cityofmiltonga.us or call 678.242.2500.

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