The Richmond Hill City Council voted Tuesday night to lower the city’s millage rate from 4.209 to 4.152, the first drop in five years.
“This is primarily due to new growth,” Finance Director Bob Whitmarsh said.
Even with the decrease, the rate will bring in about $2.2 million, which is $200,000 more than this year. Whitmarsh said the city’s tax digest has increased from $497 million to $555 million over the past five years.
Under the new millage, a person who owns a house with a taxable value of $100,000 with no exemptions would pay $415 in property taxes to the city. The amount under the previous millage rate was $420.
“Values are going up and we’ve had a lot of new construction,” Whitmarsh said. “We’re pretty much back where we were before the housing crisis. We’ve been steadily climbing back.”
The last decrease in the millage rate was in 2008 when it was set at 4.209, a 0.03 decrease from 2007. That marked the seventh consecutive year the rate had been dropped.
Mayor Harold Fowler, who has been on city council since 1995, said the city has never increased the millage rate during that time and has lowered it considerably as it was at 6 mills at one time.
The city’s budget, including all funds, is about $17.3 million.