CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – When property owners in both Hamilton County and Walker County, Georgia got their assessments earlier this year they got a shock.
Most property assessments went way up.
But Hamilton County leaders verified today that the new assessments will not translate into higher taxes.
Assessor Marty Haynes has completed the reappraisals.
And so he can release a new, lower certified property tax rate for each government.
State law requires counties to re-figure the base value for a home or property every four years, but also requires them to lower the rate so it doesn’t become an automatic tax hike.
Haynes says “A property value reappraisal must be revenue neutral for local governments – meaning local governments cannot use the reappraisal process to generate additional tax revenues unless it relates to new construction.”
If your city or county wants to raise your property tax, they will have to vote to do so in public.
These are the new certified tax rates for Hamilton County and its municipal governments that were submitted on July 14, 2021:
|2020 Tax Rate||2021 Certified Tax Rate|
The Assessor’s Office says during this re-evaluation, property values went up 25% from 2017, which is a record since the process began in 1989.
They’ll do it all again in 2025.
In Walker County, Commissioners will hold three public hearings in August to give the public a chance to weigh in on their proposed millage rate reduction.
County officials say a hot housing market has sent home values much higher, which translated to higher appraisals this year.
So they are proposing rolling back the millage rate to its lowest point in four years.
However, that still means a “slight” property tax increase.
“We’ve worked to reduce the burden on property owners by strategically growing our sales tax base,” said Shannon Whitfield, Board Chairman.
“We will see a direct benefit this budget cycle. We took in $653,144 in additional sales tax revenue which enables us to keep the expense of government services in line with inflation and hold the line on property taxes.”
Property tax will go up 3.26% in unincorporated areas and 0.54% in the cities.
Public hearings on the millage rate will take place on the following dates/times and locations:
· Thursday, August 12 at 8:00 a.m. – Walker County Civic Center (10052 Hwy 27, Rock Spring)
· Thursday, August 12 at 6:30 p.m. – Walker County Courthouse Annex III (201 S Main St., LaFayette)
· Thursday, August 26 at 7:00 p.m. – Walker County Courthouse Annex III (201 S Main St., LaFayette)
The millage rate will be set at the Board of Commissioners regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. on August 26.
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