Cherokee County Board of Commissioners millage rate meeting highlights

Andrew Alvarez

CHEROKEE, GA—The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners decided the millage rate budget of 2022 at a total rate that is considerably lower than the current tax rate after three public hearings.

The Board unanimously agreed lowering the BOC-controlled total millage rate from 8,965 mills to 8,938 mills. The overall rate consists of 5,212 mills for maintenance and operations, 3,292 mills for the fire fund, and 0,434 mills for the parks bond.

The Board of Commissioners also voted to accept the 19.45 millage rate established by the Board of Education; the law mandates the Board of Commissioners to accept the rate set by an affirmative vote of the Board of Education.

The decision to accept was made by District 3 Commissioner Benny Carter, who was joined by District 1 Commissioner Steve West.

One mill equals one dollar for every $1,000 of assessed value. A homeowner of a main residence with an average assessed value of $303,600 and the normal homestead exclusion would estimate a $3.28 decrease in their overall Board of Commissioners-controlled property tax, with no difference in assessed value.

The "floating" homestead exclusion in Cherokee shields homeowners from higher taxes due to higher assessed values.

The overall rate of 8.938, mills is the third-lowest among the 11 Atlanta Regional Commission counties' property tax rates. Fayette County, with 8.013, mills, and Forsyth County, with 7.896, mills, are the only two counties with lower millage.

To enhance their tax levels, the ARC counties have enacted offsetting sales taxes, either a Homestead Option Sales Tax, or a Local Option Sales Tax. Neither are currently available in Cherokee County. Cherokee's total tax rate would be lower than 5 mills if it had a one-cent HOST.

At the public hearings on July 6 and July 20 at 11 a.m., only resident John Long spoke. He praised the Board and county management for doing a “great job” preserving taxes low, and he stated that his two community organizations are 100% behind their Board of Commissioners and the county.

While at the public hearing on July 20 at 6 p.m., nobody spoke.

Read the meeting's list of approvals here.

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