Tax rollback in Lee County -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Tax rollback in Lee County

July 13, 2006

Lee County-- Lee County commissioners say they've made good on a promise made to taxpayers.

County-wide reassessments dramatically increased the value of many properties. Many homeowners worried their tax bills would skyrocket.  Some of them will actually see a reduction in their bills.    

Construction workers continue to cut through wood in an effort to keep up with the growing demand for homes in Lee County. But as more homes go up, Lee County Chairman Jackie Sizemore announced something else will be coming down soon.

"Lee County will be able to roll back the millage rate," says Sizemore. Reassessments significantly increased the county's tax base and allowed a roll back of 3 mils which equals about 23 percent.

"That's good news, positive news," says Sizemore.

Sizemore says that's been the plan all along.  Commissioners increased the millage rate of 13.95 by 2 mils last year to deal with growth in the county.  They said then that their goal would be to roll it back.

"There's a lot that are actually going to actually pay alot less than before we raised the millage rate," says Sizemore. But for others, the rollback won't make much difference.  In fact, they'll see an increase.

"Anybody's value that went up over 20 percent with the reassessment will see an increase on the county side," says Betty Johnson.

Decrease or increase, Lee County Tax Commissioner Betty Johnson says the rollback isn't written in stone just yet. She still has to wait for consolidation numbers from assessors.

"Once I compile the consolidation in my system and present it to the commissioners, that's when they can legally adopt the millage rate," says Johnson.

"We've been assured that 3 mils is what it's going to be," says Sizemore.

Some would question how a rollback will affect the already struggling county and its budget problems. "We dealt with all those problems. We already dealt with them. This reassessment was something that was hitting on the county taxpayers in addition to anything else that's going on," says Sizemore.

Commissioners say they're going on a promise. "This board made a committment and a promise and we worked real hard to stand by that promise," says Sizemore. A promise that could mean more or less dollars and cents on the next tax bill.

Tax Commissioner Betty Johnson says some homeowners could still see a substantial increase on their taxes if the school board doesn't lower its millage rate also.



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