Woodstock to discuss 2013 millage rate
August 17, 2013 10:03 PM | 1585 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
mbabcock@cherokeetribune.com

WOODSTOCK — The mayor and City Council will conduct the second of three public hearings Monday regarding the 2013 millage rate, with a vote expected Aug. 26 to adopt a projected rate of the same 7.889 mills city taxpayers now pay.

Chief Financial Officer Robert Porche said that property tax makes up about 33 percent, or a third of the total general fund revenue of $16.85 million.

“We budgeted conservatively and the digest came in higher; it’s moved down a little bit but we’re still good,” Porche said Friday.

In fiscal 2012-13, the 7.889 millage rate brought about $5.5 million in revenue into the general fund, according to Porche, and the millage rate is expected to stay the same for fiscal 2013-14.

“We budgeted a maintaining of the millage rate,” Porche said. “To date I have not gotten any indication from the public, from council that the millage rate is going in any other direction.”

Porche said that in May, the county tax assessor’s office gave the city preliminary tax digest numbers that were higher than last year’s digest. The property tax digest for Woodstock has dropped $5 million since May, and as of Aug. 12, Porche said the digest is still up 3.18 percent over last year.

“There were 800 appeals … in April,” Porche said. “From May 9, to last Monday night, 550 of the 800 appeals were adjudicated. So the digest has moved with those appeals being resolved, that’s been the drop.”

The digest is still up from 2012, but has dropped since May’s preliminary numbers, according to Porche. He said that the budget was passed in June with preliminary numbers, but “there’s probably $167,000 of wiggle room based on what we budgeted.”

“We had to adopt the budget not knowing the full detailed digest … so it’s a reasonable estimate,” Porche said. “We budgeted low just because we didn’t know where the digest was going to finally end up, and we won’t know until late August. So we budgeted conservatively, and the digest is actually up since last year.”

With a rising digest, like in Woodstock, Porche said “if you under-budget, then you’re going to have a little bit of a surplus, some ‘wiggle room,’ if you will.”

“The challenge in prior years was a declining digest … and you’ve already budgeted based on prior years, and there is a shortfall,” Porche said. “So in a rising digest, it’s a little bit easier to budget.”

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Chambers at City Center at 8534 Main Street in Woodstock.

The council will also:

• Discuss Ridgewalk Parkway widening (Phase IV);

• Proclamation to congratulate the 7-year-old Hobgood Heat Baseball Team;

• Approval of Parks and Recreation Succession Plan;

• Revision to Parks and Recreation Policies and Procedures;

• Budget amendment for Police Intoxilyzer Grant;

• Discuss Wellness Program and Health Insurance renewal; and

• Hear projects update from City Manager Jeff Moon.

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