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Riverdale eyes tax hike

Residents get a chance to argue increase

RIVERDALE— Riverdale residents will have a chance to chime in today on the city’s plans to increase property taxes.

Public hearings, on the tax increase, will be held at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. at Riverdale City Hall, located at 7200 Church Street.

City Manager Iris Jessie said the city has tentatively adopted a millage rate of 9.98 which will increase property taxes by 1.66 percent, for the 2013 fiscal year. She said for a decade the city has kept the same millage rate at 7.50. The proposed millage rate is an increase by 2.48 percent. “After 10 years, [the city council] thought it was fair that we could go up a little bit,” said Jessie.

Here’s what the increase would mean:

•Homes valued at $100,000 would have to pay $399.20 in property taxes, which will be an increase of $99.20 per year or $8.26 per month;

•Homes valued at $80,000 would have to pay $319.36 in property taxes, which will be an increase of $79.36 per year or $6.61 per month;

•Homes valued at $60,000 would have to pay $239.52 in property taxes, which will be an increase of 59.52 per year or $4.96 per month;

•Homes valued at $40,000 would have to pay $159.68 in property taxes, which will be an increase of $39.68 per year or $3.30 per month; and

•Homes valued at $20,000 would have to pay $79.84 in property taxes, which will be an increase of $19.84 per year or $1.65 per month.

Jessie said the city council gave it some serious consideration before agreeing to increase the millage rate. She said they wanted to see if they could keep the [property taxes] steady and do more with less in house before asking the residents to pay more.

According to Jessie if residents feel their taxes are too high they can appeal to the Clayton County Commission to get them lowered. She said some are already doing, according to Jessie. “If the [County commissioners] do lower the [property] taxes is makes [the city’s ] available dollars go down,” she said.

Jessie said this can hurt the city’s proposed, $11.7 million general fund budget for 2013, because 70 percent of the budget will be covered by taxes. Thirty-eight percent of those taxes will consist of property taxes, or at current estimates, a little more than $3.1 million.

“The reassessments don’t always come in at the time we are doing the [city’s] budget,” she said. “In fact, they come in after the [budget] and you can take those reassessments and that will decrease the value of all the property in Riverdale.”

Property taxes pay for the local law enforcement, fire department, and the local leisure activities the city offers to residents.

Though the millage rate may increase Jessie said she does not think this will deter residents from purchasing homes in Riverdale or drive them out of the city. “The houses are still very, very, affordable, because you’re getting a lot of house for a little bit of money, because of the foreclosure rate,” she said.