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Confusion expected over property assessment notices

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View a sample assessment notice, which will reflect estimated taxes based on last year's millage rate.

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View a comparison of the tax rates that will be on the notice versus the rates that are expected to be charged on tax bills, since the county is implementing a new tax system based on services. Residents in unincorporated Gwinnett could see a total tax increase, while city residents could get a tax break, but that will not be reflected on the assessment notice.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Property assessment notices will be in the mail by the end of the week, but don't expect to figure out your taxes from it.

County officials warned Tuesday that the legally required notices intended to help people plan for tax season will not accurately reflect August tax bills, since the county plans to change its system to reflect services.

State law requires that the notices show an estimated tax value based on the previous year's millage rate. But a service delivery lawsuit settlement with local cities means the county will no longer charge three millage rates. Instead, services will be split into six rates, with residents in cities getting a break on some of the charges.

While rates have not been set, some city residents are expecting to see a lower total bill, since residents of cities with their own police force will not pay for the county service. Residents of Loganville will no longer pay for the county fire service, and residents of any city will be free from the county development and enforcement charge.

Residents of unincorporated areas of the county are expected to see a total tax increase to make up for the city residents' tax break.

But the notices of assessment, which show any change to the value of person's home or commercial property, will not reflect the new tax system.

Finance Director Maria Woods said state officials are very strict on the form of the document, but they did allow the county to note that taxes will be based on the location of the property.

Final numbers on the 260,000 notices have not been tallied, but Woods said the assessments have been in line with a project 1.9 percent drop in the county's tax digest, continuing the downward trend of the past five years.

"I know this is going to be confusing, at best," Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said of the notices.

County officials said they hoped to get the word out to the public via its website and cable television stations, as well as newsletters.

Comments

Karl 1 year, 6 months ago

From the article: "While rates have not been set, some city residents are expecting to see a lower total bill, since residents of cities with their own police force will not pay for the county service...Residents of unincorporated areas of the county are expected to see a total tax increase to make up for the city residents' tax break." .

Here's what I don't get. If certain county services are being discontinued in the cities, then those services will no longer be performed and the costs associated with them goes away. Why must taxes in unincorporated areas go up if those services are no longer being performed in the cities?

I realize the city taxes which have been previously paid to the county to perform those services will no longer be paid to the county, but since the county won't have as much service to perform, this reduction in service requirements should offset any need for a tax increase on the part of citizens in unincorporated Gwinnett County.

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LoganvilleResident 1 year, 6 months ago

Now you are beginning to see the reason for the service delivery dispute to begin with. The county WASN'T providing those services to city residents but they were billing them anyways. The cities got tired of their residents paying full county taxes when the cities provided police, planning and zoning, parks, etc for their residents.

The amount of service provided by the county isn't changing... they just aren't getting to bill the cities for services they weren't really providing to city residents.

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kayak 1 year, 6 months ago

Karl, you are making a fundamental error here by applying logic to governmental functioning! Shame on you - you should know better by now! Seriously, the article should mention the county's lust for cash flow - from your pocket into theirs. In their mind, this lessening of the work requirement "frees up" this money to be spent elsewhere; never once does it occur to them to approach the situation with your line of reasoning. Therefore, the cash flow must be maintained and heaven forbid, they consider laying off a few govt. employees who are no longer necessary now that the work requirement has lessened.

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NorcrossDot 1 year, 6 months ago

Kayak, You summed it up "right on the Money". Pun intended.

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Karl 1 year, 6 months ago

Sorry kayak, as the youngun's say, 'My bad". Thanks for setting me straight.

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notblind 1 year, 6 months ago

The county pd, fd, etc will be performing the same services to the same locales now as they did before. No increase or reduction. This is where the confusion comes in the article mentions.

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Why_not 1 year, 6 months ago

About the only thing that changed is that the county PD will not be answering routine calls within the limits of the cities. Actually, this practice began quite some time back but the property owners in the cities have been paying for the services they were no longer getting from the cpunty. None of the incorporated cities within Gwinnett have their own fire department. All fire and EMS calls are handled by Gwinnett Fire and have been since the early 80s.

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LoganvilleResident 1 year, 6 months ago

Loganville has its own fire department and has for years. They are an incorporated city within Gwinnett.

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Why_not 1 year, 6 months ago

I am aware of that...Since most of loganville is within Walton county I didn't include that in the above statement.

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SuxBeanU 1 year, 6 months ago

Confusion? How could there ever be confusion when speaking about the BOC?

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JHogan 1 year, 6 months ago

A suggestion for the GDP: Can you make some sort of chart which would list the 15 cities in Gwinnett County and the services they provide for their citizens?

For example, on the left side have a columnar listing of the cities, while across the top have various categories of service provided. Something like...

      Fire   Police   EMT  Parks/Rec   Waste disposal  Roads

Snellville

Lawrenceville

Norcross

Buford

etc

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JHogan 1 year, 6 months ago

Found this on Gwinnett County's website. There's a ~5 minute video that explains the Service Districts.

http://www.gwinnettcounty.com/portal/gwinnett/Departments/FinancialServices/ServiceDistrictsExplained

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JohnGalt 1 year, 6 months ago

There certainly isn't any confusion on my part. Like I said, I'm done! Gwinnett, with its infinite corruption, its infinite looting of the taxpayers to shore up their moocher's pockets, its infinite stupidity, et al, I'm done. As Clark Gable's last words in Gone With the Wind, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" The last one out, please turn out the lights. It really won't matter whether or not you lock the door.

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Why_not 1 year, 6 months ago

We can always count of "good ole" John to flex his muscles....haha

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