Ball Ground City Council approves tax rate decrease
by Michelle Babcock
June 28, 2014 12:15 AM | 1561 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Ball Ground City Council unanimously voted to roll back the city’s millage rate Thursday from 6 to 5.375 mills, representing a 4.4 percent tax decrease for city taxpayers.

With all members present, the council unanimously voted to roll the millage rate back further than originally anticipated.

City Manager Eric Wilmarth said the new millage rate for property tax is “a quarter-of-a-mill lower than revenue neutral.”

Mayor Rick Roberts said the rollback of the millage rate would decrease projected property tax revenues by about $12,000.

Roberts said “with what we believe to be a pick-up in development,” the city was able to roll the millage rate further back.

During the last five years, the city of Ball Ground has seen a tax reduction of more than 19 percent, Wilmarth said.

Councilman John Byrd cautioned the council not to lower taxes so much it would put the city in a bad position in the future.

“I’m all about cutting taxes. I think it’s a great thing,” Byrd said. “I just don’t want to get us into a position where, suddenly, we’re in a real tight spot and to make everything work, we’ve got to (raise taxes) way up, and then the torches and pitchforks are out.”

Byrd said as long as the council members continued to monitor the tax situation, he was fine with the 4.4 percent reduction this year.

In May, the council approved a $1.89 million budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year at its meeting, based on the revenue neutral millage rate of 5.626.

After discussion concluded, Councilman Frank Homiller made the motion to accept a millage rate of 5.375, and Councilman Lee Prettyman seconded the motion.

Also at the meeting Thursday:

• The council approved a quote from WH Grading and Paving for the resurfacing of Blackwell Street, with a cost of about $32,500;

• The council approved the first reading of the proposed new sign ordinance;

• The council moved forward with annexation of the Harris Lumber Company property into the city;

• The council approved a resolution to work with the Atlanta Regional Commission and the county to implement the Lifelong Community Principle; and

• The council voted to annex the Sharp Mountain Baptist Church property into the city.

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