“I have one word for it and that’s hallelujah,” he said of the slight property tax reduction if the commission approves the budget later this month.
However, Bell, who praised Clayton County Finance Director Angela Jackson and her staff for their “untiring work and long hours spent” to bring to the board the 2013 budget for adoption, added he will continue to press the board to lower property taxes to a fill mill.
“I told the taxpayers when I voted against the five-mill increase last year that we would do everything we could to bring to the board a plan which would include reduced property taxes,” the chairman said.
According Jackson, although Clayton’s property tax digest saw a decrease last year, the county is anticipating a projected increase in the Local Option Sales Tax regarding rebate revenues.
She said that rebate revenues are projected to hit $36.15 million in the next fiscal year, an increase of $2.23 million over this year’s $33.92 million.
“When you have a lower digest and an increased Local Option Sales Tax, the net mill rate decreases,” Jackson told the commission.
“So, with the Local Option Sales Tax increase, you will experience a net mill rate decrease of 0.895 mills.”
According to Bell, the county has been able to balance its fiscal year 2013 budget without trimming county services.
“We started off with a budget that had a deficit in excess of $7 million due to the fall in the housing market,” he said.
“However, even with that, we are introducing a 2013 budget that does not include any cuts in service nor any county personnel furloughs or layoffs.”
Jackson said the county has been able to balance the Fiscal Year 2013 budget without such cuts of service or personnel through the combination of unexpected revenue increases and reduced spending.
In the Fiscal Year 2013 budget, Clayton County’s millage rate is expected to be 14.918 mills, as a result of the millage rate decrease.
Jackson also said that while county expenditures are expected to total $170.8 million, projected revenues for the county would total more than $173.9 million.