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County goes it alone on rollback millage rate

Your property taxes are likely to be going up in 2019.

Only Bryan County will adopt a lower, or rollback, millage rate meant to counter increases in property values. Other governments are sticking with last year’s millage rates.

Richmond Hill will keep its 2018 millage rate of 4.132 mills, which means someone with a $200,000 home will pay about $8.56 more in city taxes this year than they did in 2018. A public hearing on the rate is set for Aug. 6 before city council meets.

It’s worth noting that the city’s current rate of 4.132 mills is actually lower than it was in 2015, when Richmond Hill had millage rate of 4.209, according to Bryan County Tax Commissioner Carrol Ann Coleman.

Then, thanks to a strong digest, the city twice approved rollback rates — adopting a millage rate of 4.152 in 2016 and 4.123 in 2017.

The city didn’t take a rollback rate in 2018.

Pembroke’s rollback rate was supposed to be 9.712 mills, but it too will keep its millage rate the same 10 mills it’s been since the city adopted that as a rollback rate in 2016.

Prior to that, Pembroke’s millage rate was 10.123 mills.

The Bryan County school board plans to adopt the same rate it passed last year, 15.075 mills, rather than a rollback rate of 14.699 mills. That’ll cost a $200,000 homeowner about $29.32 more in taxes. A final hearing is set for 5 p.m. Thursday prior to the school board’s meeting at the Community Education Center in Richmond Hill.

What’s more, property owners are also paying an addition 1.5 mills on $100 million in school bonds approved by voters in 2017 to build new schools.

As noted earlier, Bryan County will adopt a rollback rate this year, after equalizing taxes at 8.8 mills in 2018 for all county property owners, a measure that drew a lawsuit from Richmond Hill that is yet to be decided.

Prior to 2018, Richmond Hill residents paid a lower county tax rate than Pembroke residents and those who lived in the unincorporated areas. In 2019, residents across the county will see a county millage rate of 8.561 mills when the commission adopts its 2019 rate at its August meeting, according to County Administrator Ben Taylor.

That’s down from 8.8 mills.

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