BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – In a called meeting, Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris approved dropping the tax increase from 19.98 percent to 17 percent.
“After hearing from constituents at the three public hearings, Union County has decided to reduce the proposed property tax increase to 17%. The school portion of your bill is about two-thirds of the total tax bill meaning that even with the increase from the county, your actual out of pocket property tax increase should only be about 5.8% of your total property tax bill,” Paris explained.
The county side of the millage rate is now set at 7.178 mills, not the 7.361 mills that was approved in the August 27 called meeting.
The commissioner also detailed all the reasons behind the proposed increase.
- “We have mostly been in the top three lowest mil rates in Georgia out of 159 counties since I have been in office. In trying to help the public with low taxes and provide the best facilities and services possible, this very low rate is just not sustainable any longer.
- Increase of salaries for Sheriff and Jail deputies in order to maintain staff and not lose them to other counties.
- In order to keep property taxes low, we have had to utilize the reserve funds to help balance the budget and need to replenish them.
- Our medical insurance rates have increased each year with 2018 increasing $750,000 which we are still trying to make up for and are going up $100,000 next year.
- We are being required to have all property reevaluated in the county by next year and the cost is $380,000.
- Our commitment to a new gun range that has been in the works for nearly 5 years will be approximately $500,000 and it is too late to change. Thanks to the sheriff, 75% will be paid by grant funding.
- The State of Georgia has cut its budget 15% which is estimated to impact the county library, drug court, health dept by approximately $70,000.
- Vehicle maintenance and equipment repairs are up $40,000.
- Paving (LMIG Funds) from the State DOT will be decreased $104,000.
- While the county is being reimbursed for some of the COVID-19 funds, we have no idea what our cost and expense will be in 2021. We are just holding our breath with the huge amount of new infection we are now experiencing in the county and not sure what the future holds.
Thanks for your understanding as we are all working very hard to keep our budget as low as possible and we will all continue that process. Thank you!!”
The board of education maintained it’s millage rate at 11.74 mills, which was lower than the rollback rate.