No one showed up at Monday morning’s final public hearing for the Bryan County Commissioner’s proposed property tax increase.
Following Chairman Jimmy Burnsed’s opening and immediate closing of the public hearing, county commissioners Rick Gardner, Ed Bacon and Glen Willard voted on the proposed tax increase. The vote passed unanimously. Blondean Newman and Toby Roberts weren’t present.
County Administrator Phil Jones said four commissioners qualify as a quorum, with three voting commissioners serving as a majority. As Chairman, Burnsed could not vote.
Rick Gardner read the motion, which will increase the county millage rate to 6.911 for the 2008 fiscal year, up from 6.473 mills last year.
"I think we’ve worked hard, and I think we’ve done a good job," Gardner said.
Willard seconded the motion, and it passed without any objections.
Bacon made a response to Burnsed’s comment at the previous hearing on Aug. 20, when Burnsed said the $30,000 homestead exemption was "a mistake." Bacon said that was Burnsed’s personal opinion of the exemption, and not a sentiment shared by all board members. Bacon said the commissioners were aware the exemption would create a shortfall this year, but also knew it was something the county wanted, as the majority of residents voted in favor of it.
Other millage rates for the 2008 fiscal year include:
- 6.260 mills for the incorporated areas of the City of Pembroke, up from 6.243 mills;
- 5.945 mills for the incorporated areas of the City of Richmond Hill, up from 5.773 mills;
- 13.572 mills for public education, going toward school maintenance and operation, down from 13.614 mills;
- 2.977 mills for special tax district Cove subdivision and 2.959 mills for special tax district Jericho subdivision, for road paving and improvements
- 0.25 mills for Georgia state tax
The 2008 total tax levy in the unincorporated areas of Bryan County will be 20.733 mills.
Incorporated areas are considered cities; unincorporated areas are all other parts of the county, minus those cities.
The total sum of taxable property and incorporated areas of Pembroke will be 20.082 mills, 19.767 mills for Richmond Hill, 23.710 mills for Cove and 23.692 mills for Jericho.
One mill is the equivalent of one dollar for every $1,000 of assessed property value. Assessed value is equal to 40 percent of a property’s appraised value. The new millage rates will officially begin on Jan. 1, 2008.