Although Bacon County’s total tax digest dropped over the past year, the county commission voted unanimously last week to adopt a millage rate of 13.727 mills — about the same as last year.
At last Thursday’s called meeting, County Financial Advisor Larry Taylor told the commissioners Bacon’s total tax digest dropped about $2.5 million from last year.
“I don’t know what to attribute this loss of property value to,” he said.
County Commissioner John Thomas suggested it might be due to structures torn down or moved out of the county over the past year.
Regardless of the drop, the commissioner decided to keep the millage rate the same as last year’s. But, the move was not without discussion.
County Commissioner Lee Hagans asked about increasing the millage rate by a quarter mill to help out with the government’s current financial problems. Advisor Taylor recommended against it, though, citing the need for time due to state advertising and public hearing requirements for a tax increase.
During the meeting, the commissioners also voted unanimously to accept the Bacon County Board of Education’s millage rate of 15 mills, also the same as last year’s rate.
“We cannot stop or change the [BOE’s] millage rate,” Commission Chairman Andy Hutto noted. “We just have to vote to accept it.”
Also during the meeting, the commissioners discussed the 2017-2018 $6.89 million county budget which will be coming up for a vote later this month. The budget is about $75,000 less than last year’s.
“It’s not much less than last year’s budget, but we’ve got to save where we can,” said Taylor.
The proposed budget includes a “conservative” revenue projected for 2017-2018 of $6.9 million.
“This should give us a little surplus,” Taylor said, “and we need it badly.”
The advisor said individual departmental budgets were set at the amount requested by the department head or the same as last year — whichever was lower.
The proposed budget is advertised in this week’s Alma Times on page 7. A public hearing on the budget will be held on Thursday, October 12, at 5 p.m. in the courthouse meeting room.