Commissioners accept 2021 millage rate rollback

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BLUE RIDGE, Ga – The Board of Commissioners approved lowering the county’s portion of the 2021 millage rate to 3.862 from 3.938 at the August 10, 2020 meeting.

If the millage rate remained at 3.938, tax revenues for Fannin would have increased by $186,000. Additionally, Fannin County would have to legally declare it a tax increase. It would also only provide a net gain of $120,000 to the budget.

To stay at a zero percent tax increase, the millage rate must drop to 3.862. With this tax revenue still increases by $62,000, but it’s not considered a tax increase by the state of Georgia.

“If I had to go through the effort of declaring a tax increase, it would have to be for a heck a lot more than $186,000 out of a $28M budget,” stated Chairman Stan Helton.

Post Two Glenn Patterson expressed how a lot of people in Fannin County are financially hurting due to COVID-19, and he didn’t favor a tax increase at this time.

“I’m not going to be remembered for raising taxes in the middle of a pandemic,” added Post One Earl Johnson. “Right now, is not the time.”

Last year, Johnson expressed that at some point taxes would go up to keep up with the growth of Fannin County. However, 2020 isn’t the year to add another financial burden to Fannin County residents.

In 2021, the hotel/motel tax will go up to six percent for the county, bringing in an additional $20,000, if tourism numbers stay the same. SPLOST and LOST numbers are also up in 2020, which will assist in covering county expenses without taxing citizens.

All three commissioners voted in favor or accepting the millage rollback. Now, the school board must decide on its millage rate. After the school approves a millage rate, commissioners must vote to finalize the 2021 millage rate.

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