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Forsyth commission to hold hearings on proposed property tax hike
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Forsyth County News

FORSYTH COUNTY — The Forsyth County commission will hold three public hearings next month to gather input on a proposed property tax increase for 2016.

The sessions are set for 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. July 2 and 5 p.m. July 16. Commissioners will then consider adopting the rate at 7 p.m. July 16.

All of the hearings will be held in Suite 220 of the Forsyth County Administration Building, 110 E. Main St. in downtown Cumming.

The commission had previously discussed its intention to increase the property taxes it will levy this year over the rollback millage rate.

According to county figures, the proposed bond rate is 1.419 mills, an increase of 0.55 mills from 0.869 mills in 2014 and reflects the debt service requirements for the transportation bond.

Voters approved that measure in November to fund a variety of transportation projects, including the widening of Ga. 400.

A mill, the rate used to calculate taxes, is equal to $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value. Assessed value is 40 percent of actual market value.

According to the county, the proposed increase would raise taxes on a home assessed at $250,000 (with a homestead exemption) by about $50.60.

Changes in an individual tax bill will depend upon the change in assessed valuation for that property.

The proposed county millage rates for maintenance and operations and fire will remain unchanged at 4.812 mills and 1.975 mills, respectively.

“The rates are what are levied in July,” said David Gruen, the county’s chief financial officer.

The county finance committee will continue working on the fiscal year 2016 budget after the millage rates are set, and won’t adopt the spending plan until later in the year.

“The budget doesn’t need to be balanced at this point, but that does lock in the major revenue source,” Gruen said. “We will continue working on the budget until October.

The hearings are separate from three the Forsyth County Board of Education has scheduled next month on its proposed tax rate of 17.3 mills.

Officials have said that rate, an increase of 1.812 mills from last year, will result in a tax increase of about $177 for a home with a fair market value of $250,000.