With savings from projects that cost less than expected, Columbia County commissioners Tuesday morning gave final approval to a property tax rate cut.
The half-mill cut is on the portion of tax bills that repay bond debt, said Finance Director Leanne Reece. By using $3.9 million from the 2011-2016 sales tax assigned to debt payment, and adding $2.1 million from savings in construction projects, commissioners were able to trim the county’s portion of the overall rate from 9.137 to 8.637 mills, she said.
“That basically equates to a $20 reduction on a $100,000 appraised value,” Reece said.
The tax rate also takes into account 2.28 percent growth in the county’s tax digest, Reece said. Commissioners initially had budgeted based on 2 percent growth.
The ability to use sales taxes to repay bond debt is relatively new, and promoted less than the fund source’s use for capital projects, said County Commissioner Ron Thigpen.
“It’s another positive impact that sometimes we don’t explain enough,” he added.
The Columbia County school board met earlier in the day and approved maintaining their current tax rate.