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Board OKs same millage rate

LAWRENCEVILLE -- With none of the tumult that pervaded 2009's millage rate discussion, commissioners quietly adopted a 2010 rate of 13.25 mills -- the same end result as last year.

A year ago, a controversial proposed property tax increase brought hundreds of people to the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, and commissioners eventually yielded, voting down the tax increase in June.

While the issue remained in limbo for months and temporary tax bills were issued, the final millage rate did go up in December, after residents and business officials balked at empty fire stations and decreased services.

Just a month ago, the supplemental tax bills were due.

But no one spoke out against the 2010 millage rate, which is the same as the one adopted in December.

Commissioners said little about the feat, besides a "Good shape, so far," from Chairman Charles Bannister.

With the economy still in peril and the real estate market continuing downward, Chief Financial Officer Aaron Bovos noted that the 2010 tax rate will bring in about $31 million less than the 2009 revenues due to the decline in the tax digest.

Officials are expected to consider cost-cutting measures from this year's Engage Gwinnett process to balance the budget, he said previously.