Rates compensate for declining values
By Michael Prochaska
Last Thursday, most of Morgan County’s taxing entities each approved a millage rate during called meetings.
The Morgan County Board of Commissioners agreed to maintain its rate at 8.99 mills, while the City of Madison will increase its rate to 6.352 mills from 5.446 mills.
The rate increase, by law, is not considered a tax hike because the new rate is not higher than the rollback rate.
Instead, the increase is refered to as a “roll up” rate, which is necessary to produce roughly the same amount of revenue as the previous year when factoring in a decline in the Madison’s tax digest, a 13 percent decrease from the 2011 tax year.
City Budget Director Karen Guinn explained to members of the city council Monday that a home worth $100,000 in 2011 is now worth $87,000. With the new millage rate, the tax value would increase $3 to $221 from $218.
The largest decrease in property values has come from commercial entities, said Guinn, relaying information attained from Morgan County’s Chief Tax Appraiser Chuck Anglin.
Madison’s net tax digest dropped to $201 million from $230 million between the 2011 and 2012 digests, according to city records.
The city’s special Downtown Tax District also saw a slight increase to 1.322 mills from 1.141 mills.
Bostwick voted on a small increase to 1.42 mills from 1.12.
Buckhead voted on a decrease to 0.0033 from 0.0286.
Rutledge kept its millage rate steady at 3.734.
Printed in the July 26, 2012 edition.