The Camden County Board of Commissioners today announces its intention to increase the 2021 countywide property taxes it will levy this year by 4.60 percent over the rollback millage rate. The millage rate for unincorporated Camden County tentatively has been set at the rollback rate.
Each year, the Board of Tax Assessors is required by state law to review the assessed value for property tax purposes of taxable property in the county. When the trend of prices on properties that have recently sold in the county indicate there has been an increase or decrease in the fair market value of any specific property, the Board of Tax Assessors is required by law to re-determine the value of such property and adjust the assessment. This is called a reassessment.
The tentative 2021 countywide millage rate is 15.562 which is 1.44 percent lower than the 2020 rate. The tentative 2021 unincorporated millage rate is 1.35 which is 3.57 percent less than the 2020 rate.
When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires that a rollback millage rate must be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current year’s new digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred.
The budget adopted by the Camden County Board of Commissioners requires a millage rate higher than the rollback millage rate; therefore, before the Camden County Board of Commissioners sets the millage rate, Georgia law requires three public hearings to be held to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the increase.
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held at the Government Services Building, 200 E. 4th Street, Woodbine, Georgia on October 7, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and on October 19, 2021, at 6:00 p.m.
EXPLANATION OF NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX RATE
Both growth and inflation in Camden County have resulted in an increase in Camden County’s overall taxable digest. When a county’s digest increases, Georgia law requires that a rollback millage rate must be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current year’s new digest. Camden County has tentatively set the millage rate below last year’s millage rate so the overwhelming majority of Camden County property owners will see a property tax decrease. Camden County property owners enjoy a Homestead Valuation Freeze Exemption. When a person is first granted this exemption, the base or frozen value is set at the previous year’s taxable value. The base value shall only be adjusted if there are any changes to the residential structure or acreage. As a result, the lower millage rate will result in lower taxes unless there has been a change to the residential structure or acreage.
However, according to state law, Camden County must advertise that it is raising taxes for 2021 despite lowering the millage rate from 15.79 mills to 15.562 mills because the proposed rate of 15.562 mills is higher than the calculated rollback rate of 14.878 mills.
“Given the record high inflation rates we’ve seen in the first part of 2021, Camden County simply could not accept the rollback millage rate that would maintain the same level of revenue as 2020,” said Chairman Gary Blount. “However, Camden County remains committed to doing more with less and by lowering the millage rate from its 2020 level we were still able to ensure that most Camden County property owners realize a tax decrease,” added Blount.
Despite recent increases in the digest, Camden County’s net taxable digest remains 11% below its pre-recession high water mark of $1.74 billion. Despite this challenge, 2021 is the second consecutive year Camden County has maintained or reduced the overall millage rate.
Net Digest History 2009-2021