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County rolls back mill rate
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Editor's note: Story corrected to note millage rate was rolled back to 7.999 instead of 7.991. 

Bryan County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to roll back the county’s 2021 millage rate from 8.314 to 7.999, making the board the only local taxing authority to actually cut taxes for property owners this year.

Officials said that and a vote refunding residents $20 on the annual garbage pickup fee paid by residents, which will lower it from $200 to $180, will save homeowners money on the county portion of their tax bill.

 Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger, in his 10th year on the board and in his fifth year as chairman, said the cuts are due to a booming tax digest and responsible management of county finances by county employees such as Finance Director John Raubach and County Administrator Ben Taylor, among others.

“It all comes down to how your staff manages the budget,” Infinger said. “We’re very frugal in providing the services we need and doing it at a cost savings to the taxpayers.”

While the county cut taxes for the fifth year in a row, millage rates for Richmond Hill, Pembroke and the Bryan County School board will remain the same in 2021, which likely means higher taxes for many due to an increase in property values.

The county was able to cut the garbage fee after picking Atlantic Waste Services this year. That will give some 10,055 residents a $20 credit on their 2021 tax bill.

In other business: 

Tuesday’s meeting ended with District 4 Commissioner Brad Brookshire stepping down.

Brookshire, a banker who grew up in Richmond Hill, has long been active on local boards. He is resigning because he is moving to another district within the county and expects that move to be final before the county’s September meeting.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Brookshire thanked constituents and said he hopes to serve again in some other capacity in the future.

Brookshire’s current term ends in December 2022. The county will appoint someone to fill out the remain-der of Brookshire’s term, Infinger said.

Brookshire said there are plenty of talented people to choose from.

“Bryan County is rich in people,” he said. “There are new people here who will bring in new ideas and challenge the ‘this is the way we’ve always done it attitude,’ and I think that’s good for us.”

He also encouraged residents Tuesday night to stay involved in local affairs as the county continues to experience booming growth.

“All of us, residents and elected officials, we have to stay engaged to make sure it grows the way we desire,” Brookshire said. “Decisions are made by those who show up, and everybody needs to show up and to make sure we get it right.”

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