County property tax rates may rise from 10.281 to 10.791 mills to help balance the $605 million general fund budget, which runs day-to-day operations, but the rate hike might not increase taxpayers’ burdens.
“It is expected the new rate will generate the same amount of billing as last year,” county Finance Director Patrick O’Connor said in a statement. “In other words, the revenue-neutral millage rate [of 10.791 mills] is the rate that will be used to offset the decline in value of existing properties.”
A $2.2 billion decline in tax digest value for 2012 as received from the Board of Assessors’ office, he said, means the county will earn only $455 million in income if the current rate stands.
“This is a net reduction of $74 million, or 14 percent in county revenue,” O’Connor said.
At the June 20 meeting, District 3 Commissioner Liz Hausmann voted against advertising a potential millage rate increase.
“A half-mill increase is going to be a tax increase for a big portion of our folks,” she said. “To ask for an increase now is not the right direction.”
In Sandy Springs, public hearings will include zoning cases for Christian Brothers Automotive and Belle Isle Animal Hospital, which have attracted little attention.
However, other applicants include the Lakeside office park and the Church of Scientology, whose cases have been lightning rods for controversy.
Lawsuits spurred the city to seek settlements with both applicants.
The city council at its June 19 meeting voted to defer the Scientology case to Tuesday to accommodate residents’ examination of issues like the church’s proposed 130 parking spaces.
“We need the faith of our community in our decision-making process,” District 6 City Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny said. “I believe it’s warranted to allow the community additional time to look at this information. Then we can vote on it with full notice and as much disclosure as they would like to delve into.”
MetLife Inc. and Greenstone Properties, owners of the 26-acre Lakeside office park, were denied rezoning by the city council in August 2010.
Residents cited traffic issues resulting from a proposed apartment, restaurant and office development at the Glenridge Drive location near Hammond Drive, Interstate 285 and Ga. 400.