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County posts same millage

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett's millage rate won't rise in 2011.

Officials posted advertisements this weekend of a combined 13.25 mill property tax rate for the county government. Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said the rate could go down, but it is unlikely to go up, without going through the advertising process again.

"By law, we can adopt a lower rate than advertised, but not a higher," Nash said in an email. "Thus, 13.25 is the highest that the county's total millage rate for 2011 will be and it could be lower, depending upon the board's final decision."

Officials had considered wrapping a bond fund rate of 0.23 mills into the general fund rate, but Nash said leaders decided to keep the funds separate. In fact, the 0.23 rate -- which is the same as 2010 -- could mean that the bond debt would be repayed sooner than required. But commissioners are pondering lowering the rate, she said.

While the rate is the same, many local property owners will have a lower tax bill, after 100,000 residences were reassessed this year for an average 23 percent drop.

The advertisement shows county tax revenues will be lower in 2011 than in 2066, when the combined millage rate was 11.30.

A special hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 8 for the Board of Commissioners to approve the rate.

Last week, the Gwinnett Board of Education approved a 20.55-mill property tax rate, which is the same as the year before.

Property tax bills are expected to go out in September and are due in November.