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

How Walker Works – Taxing Authorities

LaFayette, GA – Local governments rely on property taxes to provide a substantial portion of the funds necessary to offer services that enhance the quality of life and safety of its citizens.

Every year, property owners receive a bill in the mail spelling out their total taxes due.  The amount differs based on where you live, due to the number of taxing authorities in each community and the funds each entity needs to operate.

In Walker County, there are eight main taxing authorities:

-Chickamauga City Schools
-City of Chickamauga
-City of Fort Oglethorpe 
-City of LaFayette
-City of Lookout Mountain
-City of Rossville
-Walker County Board of Education
-Walker County Government

A Downtown Development Authority also has taxing authority.

In Georgia, each taxing authority has the ability to raise or lower taxes on its own, without approval from any other authority.  For example, school systems — which make up the majority of taxes owed in most communities — do not need the approval of a city council or county commission, in order to set their portion of the millage rate. 

So, what do you get for your property taxes?  Schools use these funds to put teachers in every classroom… and pay for things like technology, supplies and buildings.  Cities and Counties use property taxes to fund law enforcement and courts, animal control, land use planning and zoning, fire protection, road and stormwater maintenance, code enforcement, transit and library and health department operations, among other services. 

Not every citizen will use every service available… but the combined offerings help build a community we can be proud to call home.

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