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Tax increases approved
County, school board raise millage rates
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Forsyth County News

Property taxes are going up.

Forsyth County's overall net millage will come in at 23.854 mills after separate decisions Thursday by the county commission and school board.

The commission made its vote Thursday despite getting an earful from several residents.

Amy Austin said the reason her family has chosen to live in Forsyth County for about 15 years "was the lower taxes compared to the rest of the Atlanta area."

"The way things presently look in this county, we're moving toward just being another one of those counties in the metro Atlanta area," Austin said. "How is greenspace gonna make a difference in the average life of a Forsyth County resident?"

Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt told commissioners he has "always been an opponent of high property tax."

"The county's taking in a tremendous amount of tax revenue from properties in Cumming and Forsyth County," Gravitt said. "It's time to tighten the belts and not raise property taxes."

Commissioners approved a resolution specifying the 2008 millage rate after the third of three public hearings on the tax increase.

The new proposed bond rate, which at 1.196 mills is more than double the 2007 rate, is a result of the $100 million parks, recreation and green space bond voters approved in February.

A mill is equal to $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value.

The county's maintenance and operations levy is projected to hold steady at 3.83 mills. Factoring in the school tax increase, however, the net millage is 23.854 mills.

The Forsyth County Board of Education approved a maintenance and operations millage rate increase from 14.395 to 15.395 mills.

It also voted to roll back the bond, or debt service, millage rate to 1.418 mills. Combined, the two moves result in an overall increase of five-eighths of a mill.

Staff Writer Julie Arrington contributed to this report.