Should taxpayers get a break or give Macon-Bibb a $2.6 million tax windfall?

Macon-Bibb+County+will+hold+three+virtual+public+hearings+to+discuss+maintaining+the+current+millage+rate+which+will+add+an+additional+%242.6+million+to+the+county+budget.+

Liz Fabian

Macon-Bibb County will hold three virtual public hearings to discuss maintaining the current millage rate which will add an additional $2.6 million to the county budget.

New property on the tax rolls plus higher property reassessments will give Macon-Bibb County an additional $2.6 million dollars in revenue if the millage rate remains the same.

Mayor Robert Reichert wants to keep the current tax rate at 20.331 mills which means property owners pay about $20.33 for every $1,000 of the assessed value.

Holding the Fiscal Year 2021 millage rate would amount to an extra $14.81 per year on a home with a fair market value of $125,000, according to a news release. The increase would be around $17.22 without a homestead exemption on a $125,000 house.

Of the extra $2.6 million anticipated, $1,144,978 relates to new property and $1,475,156 is due to the higher assessments, county finance director Christy Iuluicci told commissioners.

If the county rolled back the millage rate to 19.987 to compensate for the additional taxes, it would lose nearly $1.5 million dollars that could be spent to help compensate for tax revenue losses due to COVID-19.

The county’s news release states the extra revenue could help avoid furloughs, fund higher salaries in the pending pay scale and hire new employees.

Reichert said the county’s “significant investment in our community” has increased property values and shows Macon-Bibb is a “great place to live.”

“The investment has been made by each of us, and it’s time to take care of the hardworking and dedicated employees that serve our community on a daily basis,” Reichert stated in the release.

Before approving the pending tax increase, the county is required by law to hold three public meetings that will be done via Zoom due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, meetings will be held at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. with a limited number of staff at Government Center at 700 Poplar St.

The third meeting will be at 1 p.m. Aug. 11 at Government Center.

Those wishing to comment on the pending tax increase, should register online at the maconbibb.us website or send emails to [email protected].

Contact Civic Reporting Senior Fellow Liz Fabian at 478-301-2976 or [email protected]