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County approves lower millage rate for 2019
Forsyth County

The total millage rate in Forsyth County is going down a little bit this year.

Forsyth County Commissioners voted 5-0 on Thursday to approve the 2019 millage rate at 7.936 mills for the county rate, down slightly from a rate of 8.036 mills approved for 2018. The Forsyth County Board of Education approved a millage rate of 19.718 mills, meaning a total county rate of 27.654 mills.

In a required public hearing, county resident Kirk Wintersteen said he approved of the rate and thanked various county officials.

“The total county rate is lower than what I expected,” he said. “I was expecting over 8 mills, and the board of commissioners for bringing it in lower than 8 mills … I believe that is the most responsible position.”

He was the only speaker at Tuesday’s meeting. Two public hearings were held on July 5.

The millage rate is the formula that calculates property taxes. One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 in assessed property value, which is 40 percent of the actual market value.

The county’s millage rate is made up of the net maintenance and operations, fire district and general obligation bond rates.

The entire rate dropped due to the lowering of the general obligation bond rate from 1.419 mills to 1.319 mills.

The maintenance and operations (4.462 mills) and fire district rates (1.975 mills) remained the same from 2018 to 2019.

County CFO Dave Gruen said the approved millage rate would mean a balanced budget of $137.7 million in 2019.

The budget will include 64 new positions in the county, new and expanded services and a 4 percent salary compensation adjustment for employees and can be adopted on Nov. 16.

Though the millage rate is decreasing, home assessments in the county increased by about 2.8 percent this year due to an adjustment to the building cost table, a calculation of the cost of construction and permit activities.