Lawrenceville City Council adopts same tax millage rate

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Lawrenceville City Council on Monday unanimously voted to keep the 2010 tax millage rate for the city at 2.16 mills even though it would generate less revenue than last year.

Mayor Rex Millsaps estimated that using the same rate as 2009 would generate $2,153,759 in property tax revenue based on the city's tax digest. This represents a 7.6 percent decrease of $178,219 in property tax revenue compared to last year, he said.

Millsaps said the city would make up the difference through budget cuts.

The city's tax digest dropped as the result of reassessments that lowered property values due to the downturn in the housing market.

The city could have raised the tax millage rate to offset the loss in property tax revenue, the mayor said, "but we chose not to increase it to help our citizens."

Lawrenceville has a fiscal year budget that runs from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31. Work has just started on the new budget, the mayor said.

The approximately $2 million in property tax revenue the 2.16 mills would generate, Millsaps said, represents about 2 percent of the city's budget. "Most of our revenue comes from other sources," he said.

The council approved the first reading of amendments to the city's alcoholic beverage ordinance that allows a wine shop to sell wine by the glass but not beer for on-premises consumption and to sell beer by the package for off-premises consumption.

Also passed on first reading was a model soil erosion ordinance that the state Environmental Protection Division has mandated be implemented this summer.

The council will consider adopting the second reading of the ordinances at its July meeting.