FORSYTH COUNTY – Forsyth County’s millage rate will not go up this year, though tax revenues are likely to increase.
At separate meetings Thursday evening, Forsyth County’s Board of Commissioners and Board of Education approved their 2017 millage rates – which are used to assess taxes on residents – of 8.036 mils and 17.3 mils, respectively. Both rates will remain the same as last year.
The total 2017 millage rate is 27.754 mils, which is .05 mils lower than 2016 due to the state removing its millage rate.
County commissioners approved the total rate following the adoption of the school rate by the Board of Education on July 21.
The millage rate is the formula that calculates property taxes. One mil equals $1 for every $1,000 in assessed property value, which is 40 percent of the actual market value.
According to Dave Gruen, the county’s chief financial officer, a $250,000 home should see a tax bill of $2,553 – slightly less than last year’s $2,558 bill due to the reduction in the state rate.
The county’s total rate is the product of 4.62 mils for maintenance and operations, 1.975 for fire and 1.419 for general obligation bonds.
For school taxes, the advertised rate of 17.3 mils for maintenance and operations did not change. When combined with the 2.418 millage rate for debt services, the total is 19.718.
A public hearing was held prior to the adoption of the rate, though no one spoke at that time.
State law required the county and the education board to each hold three public hearings before adopting their rates.
One person spoke in front of the Board of Commissioners. Four people attended the first hearing for the Forsyth County Schools rate, though no one spoke.
During public comments at the beginning of Thursday’s commission meeting, county resident Kirk Wintersteen praised the financial stewardship of the county.
“I’ve lived in this county for the last 30 years. For the past several years I have attended the majority of the Board of Commissioners’ works sessions,” he said. “I believe that the big picture is the county is being careful with our tax dollars. I believe the big picture is the citizens are receiving excellent value for their tax dollars.”
Prior to the county’s adoption, Gruen gave an update to the 2017 county budget, which is already balanced.
It is expected that the county’s tax digest will rise this year due to a recent reassessment of home values, resulting in property taxes being levied this year at 1.89 percent over a rollback millage rate that both commissioners and education board members chose not to adopt.
The school district is poised to collect $161.9 million in tax funding this fall – after paying the county 2.5 percent to collect them from residents.
A rollback rate means taxes cannot be collected on home reassessments – the same amount of property tax revenue will be collected as approved for the prior year.
Not adopting a rollback rate means some homes that have been reassessed this year will see a slightly higher tax bill than originally estimated.
The adopted 2.04 percent increase in school taxes for a reassessed home with a fair market value of $250,000 is about $33.91, and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $250,000 is about $34.60, according to Rick Gunn, the school system’s chief financial officer.
On Oct. 25, a presentation will be held on the county budget. The budget can be adopted on Nov. 3.
Editor Kayla Robins contributed to this report.