Walker County Announces Plan to Lower Millage Rate

LaFayette, GA – When property owners in Walker County receive their tax notices later this year, they will see a slight decrease in the county’s portion of the millage rate.

Commissioner Shannon Whitfield plans to reduce the rate for residents in both the unincorporated and incorporated areas of the county.

The new rate of 9.822 mills for Walker County residents in unincorporated locations represents a 0.16% reduction in county taxes.

City residents will experience a 0.28% decrease, as the tax rate for property owners in incorporated areas will be set at 13.293 mills.

The lower tax rate comes on the heels of Walker County Government ending the “Public Health Facilities and Services District,” aka the Erlanger fee, for this upcoming tax cycle.  These two developments mean those with property valued at $100,000 will save over $140 from the county’s portion of the tax bill this year, although changes made by other taxing authorities may impact an individual taxpayers overall savings.

“The days of lease purchases and loans are behind us,” said Commissioner Whitfield.  “We continue to reduce debt, operate on a fiscally responsible budget and explore creative options to enhance revenue, so we can hold the line on property taxes.  The sacrifices endured over the past two and a half years have positioned Walker County to grow and prosper as we progress into the next decade.”

The new millage rate will be adopted at the Commissioner’s Regular Meeting on August 8th at 6:00 p.m. at the Courthouse Annex III building, located at 201 S Main Street in LaFayette.

Walker County Tax Digest 2019

Walker County’s Erlanger Fee to be Eliminated

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield made an important announcement this morning that will benefit every property owner in Walker County.

Whitfield proclaimed an end to the Public Health Facilities and Services fee, the ordinance created to pay down the county’s debt to Erlanger Health System over the course of three years.  “We project we have collected enough from the Public Health Facilities and Services fee over the past two years to meet our obligation to Erlanger at the end of this tax cycle,” said Whitfield.  “This means the fee will not be charged on your next tax bill!”

According to the state of Georgia, the average home value in Walker County is $100,000.  The elimination of the fee will remove $140 from the average homeowner’s tax bill.

Walker County will take the necessary steps to formally end the fee in May by amending the ordinance that established it.  Those changes are scheduled to be finalized at the May 23, 2019 Commissioner Meeting.

In 2017, a federal judge ordered Walker County to pay Erlanger $8.7 million plus interest and attorney’s fees to cover its portion of a 2011 loan to keep Hutcheson Medical Center open.  Erlanger agreed to waive interest and attorney fees, as part of a settlement agreement in January 2018, provided Walker County made 13 quarterly payments.

“Dealing with this debt has been a tough chapter in our shared journey,” Whitfield added.  “I thank our citizens for the sacrifices made during this difficult time in our history.  Today, we turn the page.  Today, we start our own chapter in Walker County history.”