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Lilburn property taxes to increase

LILBURN - The Lilburn City Council approved Monday night a $6.5 million annual operating budget and capital improvement plan for 2008-09, which calls for a 2.28 percent property tax increase, even though the Council kept the millage rate at the current 4.26 mills.

Even with the millage rate not going up, property tax values have increased in Gwinnett County, according to the county tax digest, thus accounting for the 2.28 percent hike.

"Foreclosures in the state will probably catch up on the next tax assessment," said Lilburn Mayor Diana Preston, possibly forecasting a decrease in property value in the county.

"We did a lot of belt-tightening on the budget," she added. "We came off the budget as much as we could."

Also passed was the capital improvement plan, which calls for upgrades in the permitting and coding processes, parking and for the printing of brochures for Old Town Lilburn, among others.

In other business, the Lilburn Council:

· Approved the SPLOST funding for 2009, which includes design work for a proposed new city administrative building.

· Approved an ordinance for high school and college graduation signs at the entrances to subdivisions in the city as being exempt subject to number, size, height and display limitations. The ordinance states that such signs cannot remain in place for more than 30 days.

· Annexed properties in Phase III of the Hidden Lake area.

Preston also administered the oath of office to Peace Officer Bruce Hedley, who becomes the city's patrol captain/operations commander.