How does the property tax rate in Macon-Bibb County compare to others in Georgia?
That was the question posed to us by reader Donna Gray of Macon through Macon Me Curious, a new project of the Center for Collaborative Journalism in partnership with The Telegraph and GPB Macon.
A proposed tax increase in Macon-Bibb County has become a point of contention. The latest plans call to add 4 mills to the ledger, bringing the county government's tax rate from 17.62 mills to 21.7 mills. The proposed rate equals $716 in taxes on a home that is valued at $100,000 and has a homestead exemption.
One common refrain from some Macon-Bibb leaders and residents is that the higher taxes are leading to people moving from the county.
But although a lower millage rate is true for residents living in surrounding unincorporated areas, Macon-Bibb government's taxes in some cases are not that much different than what property owners in some other nearby cities pay.
Macon-Bibb is unique because it's one of only a few other consolidated governments in Georgia. In Macon-Bibb there is one tax rate while other Middle Georgia counties have millage rates for those living in both unincorporated areas and cities.
Property owners also pay school district taxes and in some cases communities pay a tax for fire service or a special business district tax.
Typically, property owners living in cities, or incorporated areas, will pay higher taxes than those living in the unincorporated sections of the same county. To determine a city resident's millage rate, you would need to add the city tax and county tax.
For instance, in 2017 Warner Robins properties were taxed at 19.9 mills when taking into account the city and county rates, according to the Georgia Department of Revenue. And Forsyth residents paid 16.3 mills for city and county government operations. In Fort Valley, the combined millage rate is 26.4 with Peach County accounting for 14.6 mills.
One mill equals $1 per every $1,000 in assessed property value.
Middle Georgia city/county millage rates from 2017
Macon-Bibb County: 17.652 mills (21.752 proposed for 2018)
Crawford County: unincorporated 14.03 mills; incorporated 15.77; Roberta 6
Houston County: unincorporated 9.935 mills (plus 1.177 fire tax); Warner Robins 9.983; Perry 14.05; Centerville 11.972
Jones County: incorporated 17.649 mills; unincorporated 16.197; Gray 9.5
Monroe County: unincorporated 13.331 mills; Forsyth 3
Peach County: unincorporated 14.616 mills; Fort Valley 11.855; Byron 9
Twiggs County: unincorporated 19.6 mills; Jeffersonville 10.765
Source: Georgia Department of Revenue
Use the below database to explore the millage rates paid in 2017 for every tax district in the state. Click search to view the full table.
Database created by Grant Blankenship with Georgia Public Broadcasting and Telegraph reporter Laura Corley.