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Judge gives final OK for tax bills

LAWRENCEVILLE - A judge gave the final go-ahead for Gwinnett tax bills to go out, and approved the collection for the county's three community improvement districts.

On Monday, Judge Timothy Hamil amended an order from last week for the temporary collection of taxes, since county commissioners have yet to adopt a 2009 millage rate.

While Hamil ruled last week that the county could issue temporary bills using the 10.97 millage rate from 2008, his ruling Monday approved the billing of taxes for the cities of Dacula, Berkeley Lake and Lilburn as well as the Gwinnett Place, Gwinnett Village and Evermore CIDs.

With the cities of Duluth, Sugar Hill and Grayson approved last week, the only city which normally has its property taxes collected by the county not included is Snellville.

There, the city filed a separate motion for the temporary collection of taxes and is hoping for a hearing in the next week. Hamil, though, directed Tax Commissioner Katherine Meyer to prepare tax bills as if Snellville's collection was approved.

Meyer said her staff expected to post billing information in a computer system overnight and is on schedule to have the bills issued by Sept. 8.

If Snellville's bill situation isn't settled, as expected, her office would have to manually change 8,500 bills, Property Tax Division Director Richard Steele said in testimony Monday.

"We're pretty much on schedule," Meyer said, adding that the bills usually take about 25 days, although they are normally out by mid-July.

According to the order, the first payment on property taxes will be due Oct. 15 and the final payment due Nov. 15.