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Vote ensures Richmond Hills millage rate for 2015 will remain unchanged

Richmond Hill City Council voted Tuesday evening to hold the line on the city’s 2015 millage rate at 4.209 mills.

The millage rate, unchanged since at least 2006, will add $2,028,388 in real and personal taxes to the city’s coffers and represents approximately 30 percent of the city’s overall revenue next year, city finance director Bob Whitmarsh said.

The $2,028,388 in anticipated 2015 revenue is down by a projected $26,938 from 2014.

“The overall gross property digest decreased from $503,746,211 in 2014 to $499,146,692 in 2015. That figure represents 40 percent of the total city real & personal valuation,” Whitmarsh told the mayor and council. He also told the elected officials that real and personal property in the city is taxed at 40 percent of its value.

“While the gross digest decreased, at the 40 percent level, real and personal property increased from $480,474,191 to $483,102,772.
Motor-vehicle values, on the other hand, decreased from a 2014 figure of $22,481,150 to $15,736,040,” Whitmarsh said.

The finance director added that mobile-home values were down and that, as recently as 2010, the real and personal property digest stood at $523,736,713.

This year’s figure represents a drop of about 7 percent from the 2010 valuation.

“The millage rate has stayed the same, and we have not had to raise tax rates on our citizens. I appreciate what our department heads have done to keep expenses low,” Mayor E. Harold Fowler said.

“The growth that we’re seeing now should help revenues in 2016,” Whitmarsh said.

Whitmarsh said the tax digest still has to be reviewed by the state Legislature, and property-tax bills will be distributed by the county later this year.

Prior to the regularly scheduled City Council meeting, a public hearing was help to allow public input.

No one elected to speak. The council voted unanimously to approve the millage rate.

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