Chairman Bryan County Commission
The Bryan County Board of Commissioners recently rolled back the millage rate for the sixth year in a row to 7.37 mills. The rollback offsets inflationary increases in the County digest, so that the County will produce the same total revenue as the previous year. This means that taxes in Bryan County have not been increased for six years.
Based on 2021 data from on County millage rates, Bryan County taxes are lower than 132 of the 159 counties in Georgia. Many other counties have separate millage rates for fire, EMS, recreation, bonds, and more in addition to the maintenance and operations millage rate. Bryan County does not.
One mill in Bryan County now equals $7.37 per $1000 of property value. That property value, or the fair market value, is calculated by the Bryan County Tax Assessor each year and is based on many factors. The main factors considered are property size, structure size, and sales data of surrounding homes. However, when taxes are determined each year, only 40% of that assessed value is taxed. For example, if you have a $300,000 property, only 40% or $120,000 of that property is taxed annually. In this example, the annual Bryan County portion of taxes would be roughly $884. These taxes are typically referred to as Maintenance and Operations funds, and in Bryan County go to pay for recreation, roads, public safety, courts, and many other county services. A Solid waste fee of $15 a month and a fire protection fee of $18.33 a month are also collected annually from the citizens of unincorporated parts of the county. These flat fees pay much of the direct cost for unincorporated county services.
The other annual countywide millage rate pays for the school system. The Bryan County Board of Education recently approved the rate of 15.075 mills with a 1.5 mill school bond rate. This overall rate has been consistent since 2019. On the same $300,000 house from earlier, the schools millage rate would equal roughly $1989. The cities of Pembroke (10 mills) and Richmond Hill (4.132 mills) also have their own additional millage rates.
Only those residing within the city limits pay those additional millage rates for the services provided by those cities.
Homestead exemptions help to reduce these taxes on a single primary residence. Residents must apply with the county by April 1 to receive these exemptions, but generally only need to apply once. The regular homestead exemption reduces the taxed value on all Bryan County resident’s primary homes by $30,000. That same $300,000 home, would only be taxed on $90,000 of the fair market value; reducing the County portion of taxes by about $221. The other most common homestead exemption is a $50,000 on County, City, and School taxes resulting in a significant reduction in the overall tax rate. There are other homestead exemptions available as well. If you are not sure whether you qualify, visit the Bryan County Tax Commissioner’s Office.
The goal for the future is that much of the tax burden falls on the industry coming to Bryan County, requiring homeowners to continue to pay less each year. I thank you for allowing me to help reduce the tax rate on Bryan County citizens during my tenure as Chairman.