State-mandated hearings to set Columbia County's millage begin Tuesday.
Two of the three public "rollback" hearings will be held at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium of the Evans Government Complex at 630 Ronald Reagan Drive. The auditorium is also the site of the third hearing at 5:30 p.m. July 15.
The county commission likely will set the rate during a regular meeting after the final public hearing.
Commissioners recently adopted a $56.7 million budget based on an expected 8 percent increase in the county's tax digest.
"Back when Gov. (Roy) Barnes was in office, he enacted this so counties could not increase the value of someone's property, but keep the millage rate the same and say it wasn't a tax increase," Columbia County Tax Commissioner Kay Allen said.
"It's still an increase," Allen added. "This gives the taxpayer an opportunity to let their voices be heard, and it's another notification."
State law requires rollback hearings when tax-collecting bodies intend to accept the added income from growth. Otherwise, governments must adjust the millage to equal the same amount of income received during the previous year.
The school board started the first of its three rollback hearings Monday, but because only two of five board members attended, the board will have to reschedule another hearing.
Mike Sleeper said he made the decision to miss the hearing because the board did not think a quorum had to be present. Chairwoman Regina Buccafusco and board member Mickey Blackburn attended.
The final two school board hearings will be held as originally scheduled on Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Board of Education, 4781 Hereford Farm Road, Evans. The date and time of the additional hearing has not been determined.
Harlem's tax hearings will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, and 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. July 14. All three meetings will be held at Harlem City Hall at 320 N. Louisville St. City council members intend to hold a meeting after the final hearing.
Grovetown's first rollback hearing was held Thursday. The final two meetings will be held at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. July 14. A regular city council meeting follows the last rollback hearing.
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