New property tax districts moving forward

LAWRENCEVILLE -- With the local real estate market "stabilizing," county officials remain on track to change millage rates this year, giving unincorporated residents a tax increase, while some city residents see their county taxes going down.

In about a month, the Board of Commissioners will adopt a new tax break-down, which aligns tax districts with services based on a settlement with local cities last year.

On Tuesday, commissioners learned that assumptions on the value of the county's tax digest made last year are essentially correct -- with the total value of residential and commercial property in Gwinnett dipping about 1.2 percent from 2012, instead of the 1.9 percent anticipated when leaders formulated this year's budget.

That means leaders will likely follow through on the new proposed structure and rates, which would give a total of about $38 increase for the average resident of unincorporated portions of the county and a $65 decrease for residents in cities with their own police force (and a drastic $234 decrease for residents of Loganville, which has its own fire service). Residents of cities that do not have a police or fire department would pay, on average, about $19 more in county taxes.

Those changes are in addition to the Gwinnett County Public Schools plan to increase its millage rate at a meeting Thursday. That proposal would add another $76, on average, to homeowners throughout Gwinnett.

"To some extent, when you adopt the budget, you've kind of already decided what the millage rate will be," Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said, adding that she was pleased that the county's tax digest expectations were met. "It looks like very little, if any, change to the bottom line."

While tax totals will change, Nash said the biggest change for property owners to notice is the new system, which breaks down the county's general fund to pull out development and enforcement costs, which no city resident will bear, and police services, which residents in cities with their own police force will no longer pay.

Notices of the change were sent along with the county's assessment notices in the spring, and officials are planning an informational session for residents to learn more on June 25.

"Their tax bill is going to look totally different than it ever has before," said Maria Woods, the county's finance director

Steve Pruitt, the county's chief assessor, this year's tax digest seems to show a leveling off in the county's real estate market, after drastic drops in home values beginning in 2009.

This year's values were only down 1.2 percent, compared to a more than 8 percent dip the year before.

"I think we're going to see it level off and then see it go back up in the near future," Pruitt said, adding that only 8,388 residential tax appeals were filed this year, half of what he expected. "We're kind of back in equilibrium now."


gwinnettresident1 1 year, 3 months ago

Once they get the millage rate increase you will then see the new county evaluation of your home increase.They need to trim some of the fat off the county budget by reducing the number of levels of management..Just in the school alone to get to the top you go through 7 levels. Even giant corps. dont have that many levels of management.


JV 1 year, 3 months ago

Everywhere else I read that home values are increasing not decreasing. gwinnettresident1, I think you are on to something with the future county appraisals. And of course we have another SPLOST extension vote upcoming also.


kevin 1 year, 3 months ago

I never got a 1.2% decrease in value. What are they talking about? Bet Nash doesn't drop the rate once assessments start going up. More money to make politicians spending happy for their supporters. When was the last time the county spent less over a fy?


Veryconcernedcitizen 1 year, 3 months ago

I agree with the amount of over-management in the school system. However, to not vote for the SPLOST is idiotic. SPLOST has pretty much made this county what it is today. From road improvements to parks to fire stations, we have SPLOST to thank for it.


gwinnettresident1 1 year, 2 months ago

i agree that we need spost. Our roads and parks are some of the best i have ever seen. We need to continue on that one. I think that the residents need to step up and fight a millage rate increase. You know that when they get it that even if they raise the value of our homes. The millage rate will never come down.


R 1 year, 2 months ago

So we need the taxes then don't fight any increase...

We apparently don't need to tighten standards either, so here's to repeating the recent 1980/1990s past and to a BOC budget of 2.5 BILLION a year.

Land to buy... Lawsuits to lose... its all GOOD!


JV 1 year, 2 months ago

For many in Gwinnett, SPLOST has become a dirty word thanks to the follies of our county commissioners over the years including waste, fraud and abuse. SPLOST have been used for years to build stuff that Gwinnett County can’t afford to keep up and maintain including parks and Libraries with the property tax base. So, if SPLOST made this county what it is, that doesn’t mean it is right. And it doesn’t mean voting against a SPLOST, or an ESPLOST or a TSPLOST or a WHATEVER SPLOST is idiotic.


gwinnettresident1 1 year, 2 months ago

JV i totally agree with you. I also wonder why the parents dont do more to help the parks and the taxpayer do less. I know i am older and my children are in their late 30s and early 40s but when they played baseball at mountain park (10 years each son) if the parents didnt mow the grass, line the fields and run the concession the children didnt get to play...Just saying. I know times are different but i worked full time and had time to do my part for my Children.


Veryconcernedcitizen 1 year, 2 months ago

Parents do the concession stands. The coaches line the fields and do most of the work on the fields. The County staff does do the mowing though. Why were you under the impression the parents don't do those things? I coached for 3 years and put in countless hours of volunteer time at the park between field work and actual coaching. Any equipment needed is also paid for by the atletic associations (parents registration fees). The athletic associations even have to pay for the use of the ball field lights at night.


gwinnettresident1 1 year, 2 months ago

sorry i didnt realize...I said i was older so i dont go to youth games now. I guess when i have gone by the parks i didnt see much parent envolvement. Maybe the coaches do most ot it...I coached 15 years at Mountain Park. We paid the light bill, we paid to install spinklers and parents hand dug the ditches for the pipe we purchased. I admire you for doing your part to help and thank you as well...


Don_Coyote 1 year, 2 months ago

Since SPLOST money cannot be used for maintenance and support the past commissions have overbuilt libraries, fire stations, etc. that cannot be staffed. Recently the police department had the commission approve $8,000,000 worth of wireless printers to issue "e-tickets" with SPLOST money with no money to train the users or maintain the system. This system was purchased with no promise at all of an offset in costs, only that the officers would spend less time "writing" tickets. They went to the legislature to add $10 "user fees" to each ticket to try to get that money but failed and guess who will now saddle this overhead to this county revenue stream?

SPLOSTs were introduced originally to offset property taxes but with the increases in said taxes through the years, and let's not forget storm water runoff "fees", garbage collection "fees", etc. I'm having a hard time justifying further adoption of the slush fund that the SPLOST has become.


Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

There hasn't been so called "over-building" of fire stations. Due to a hiring freeze a couple of years ago, two new fire stations were not opened for several months because of staffing shortages. Those stations have been up And running for a long time now. Anyone with any common sense should know that public safety should out-weigh other concerns when utilizing SPLOST funds. The stations you cited were part of the long-term infrastructure improvements planned well before any expected hiring freeze. The over-building of fire stations as you imply, help keep property insurance rates low by maintaining acceptable response times throughout the county. Take away those stations and response times will increase....right along with your insurance premiums.


R 1 year, 2 months ago

Was there ever really a question that they WOULDN'T move forward?

"Change" you can believe in...


CD 1 year, 2 months ago

........a bus and a taxpayer.......dollar signs in their eyes......


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