Why The Tax Freeze Must End
I’ve been a property tax payer in Muscogee County since 2004. This is also the year I began my career as a REALTOR. It doesn’t matter how I explain the tax freeze to new clients when they are debating over which county to reside in. They always ask me the same question, “How is this fair?”
IT’S NOT. Here are some facts you might find interesting:
- 65,000 Homestead Properties in Muscogee County are currently Frozen
- 29,000 pay less than $100 per year (15,000 of them pay less than $50)
- 60% of your tax bill goes to the Muscogee County School Board
- Our School Millage Rate 23.37 is the 3rd Highest in the State
- GA’s average Millage Rate is 30 mills (school + county)
- Muscogee County Millage Rate is above 40 mills in some areas
- Commercial Property Owners tax bill is equivalent to 3 months rent
If property values remain frozen, then our Millage Rate (property tax rate) can never be reduced. This is an unfair burden to Commercial Property Owners and New Residents. We are sending residents to our surrounding counties. They all may work in Muscogee County, but they don’t live in Muscogee County.
I used this analogy with a group a few weeks ago:
I own a bar. I’ve been giving you and many other locals FREE Drinks for 20+ years. All my new customers pay full price for their drinks. I’m scared to raise prices on new customers because I don’t want to run them off, but it’s difficult to cover my operating expenses and provide quality service with so many FREE Drinkers. I’m close to going out of business.
If you have been drinking for FREE for 20 years, I suggest that is long enough. If you don’t want to pay, then you don’t have to stay.
We need to support Mayor Tomlinson’s plan.