Stephens Co. Commission Set To Vote on Mill Rate Hike Today

Stephens County Commissioners are expected to vote on officially setting the millage rate at their meeting later today following a third and final public hearing on a proposed millage rate increase.

Stephens County is proposing a 2.34 mill increase in the county’s tax rate to fund the Fiscal Year 2015 budget.

That would move the county government’s millage rate from 11.32 to 13.66 mills.

For a $100,000 home with no exemptions, a 2.34 mill increase would mean an increase of $93.60 in taxes to fund county government, not including the school system.

The current proposed increase of 2.34 mills is .51 of a mill lower than the county’s original proposal of a 2.85 mill increase.

County commissioners lowered the proposed millage rate increase following a called budget meeting last week.

During that budget meeting, commissioners found approximately $319,000 in proposed cuts to the county’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget.

Almost half of that savings is coming from money the county is saving after county employees made changes to their health insurance coverage.

Other budget cuts agreed to by commissioners last week include eliminating the state inmate crew the county was using for litter pick-up, cutting $25,000 from money going to rebuild the county’s undesignated fund balance, and reducing the number of additional deputies that the Sheriff’s Office is receiving from four to two.

That reduction in deputies came after Sheriff Randy Shirley told commissioners he would reduce his request this year to two additional deputies from four provided he then receive another two additional deputies next year.

The public hearing on the proposed millage rate increase is set to begin at 5 p.m. in the historic Stephens County Courthouse in downtown Toccoa.

The commission meeting where commissioners will vote on the millage rate is set to start at 5:30 p.m., also at the historic courthouse.