Marietta keeps tax rates same: Increased property values allow government to collect more money
by Hilary Butschek
July 29, 2014 04:00 AM | 2018 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The city will collect more in taxes next year, but rates will not increase.

The City Council approved the tax rate in a 5-0 vote, with Stuart Fleming and Andy Morris absent, Monday night.

Property values have risen, so the government will collect more from the overall increase in property values within the city limits, said Sam Lady, the city’s finance director.

The city’s millage rate will stay the same as last year at 2.788 mills, but the city will collect $40,000 more in revenue than last year for a total of $6,981,000 in 2014.

Additionally, the city issued $68 million in bond proceeds from a voter-approved referendum last fall which requires an annual debt service of another two mills, Lady said.

Lady said this is the first time the city has seen an increase in tax revenue in five years.

Not every property owner will have to pay more in general fund taxes next year.

“If your property value didn’t increase, there will be no increase in taxes,” Lady said.

Many areas of Marietta were developed or sold in the last year, Lady said, so some of the new tax collection comes from pieces of land where there was nothing, but where now a house has been built.

“There are a lot of properties out in subdivisions that had not been developed fully, so that’s going to be part of the increase,” Lady said.

Most people won’t notice an increase in what they pay even though the city is required by state law to advertise the rate as a 2 percent increase, said Martha Beard, the city’s tax manager. The wording “increase” comes from how much the city will get, she said, not necessarily how much each property owner will pay.

“For the majority of homeowners, you’re not going to see an increase,” Beard said.

Mayor Steve Tumlin said the increase will put the city back on track to collect as much as it did before the recession hit.

In 2009, Marietta collected $7,900,048 in property taxes at the same millage rate.

“We’re trying to rebuild our finances from what we had five years ago,” Tumlin said.

The extra $40,000 the city expects to bring in isn’t set aside for one particular use, but it has been spread out and accounted for in different projects in the fiscal 2015 budget the city passed in June, Tumlin said.

“Twenty percent of our budget is made up of property tax, so that $40,000 just blends in,” Tumlin said.

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