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City council approves tax cut, moves on foreclosure registry

LOVEJOY— Residents of the southernmost city in Clayton County will get a break on taxes this year.

Lovejoy City Council voted this week to lower its millage rate from 7.57 to 7.47 mills. It is significantly less than last year’s reduction from 9 mills to 7.57 mills but a reduction all the same, said Mayor Bobby Cartwright.

Cartwright said his mission is to continue to cut property taxes in the city, however small the amount. He said his goal is to eventually have the rate at 6 mills.

The council also adopted a resolution Monday on its foreclosure and vacant property registry.

Cartwright said the resolution is a “fine-tuning” measure of a city ordinance approved last month to get a handle on vacant properties in disrepair.

The process of notifying owners of known vacant or foreclosed properties will begin immediately, he said.

The city’s new policy goes into effect Nov. 1, when owners of foreclosured properties or properties that have been vacant more than 60 days must register or face potential fines.

Officials said the registry is a way to make property owners accountable to the condition of their properties. It follows a trend among municipalities to get a hold on overgrown lawns and dilapidated buildings.

The registry includes the owner’s name, address and phone number as well as information on the person who would be served if the property falls out of compliance with the city’s ordinances.

Registration fees vary and owners must renew it each year and update information as necessary, according to the new registry.

“We’re trying to get landowners to take responsibility for what they bought,” said Cartwright. “The goal here is to be able to help us help them.”