JONESBORO — It will be the same old, same old for Jonesboro’s property tax rate this year.
The City Council voted 3-1 last week to keep the millage rate at 1.5 mills, with Mayor Joy Day casting a vote since councilmen Bobby Wiggins, Clarence Man and Pat Sebo were the only council members present for the vote, which followed the city’s third and final public hearing of the year on the rate.
No one spoke at the hearing and Mann cast the lone dissenting vote. Councilmen Wallace Norrington and Randy Segner came in the meeting shortly after the vote had been taken.
Jonesboro officials announce a projected millage rate when the city budget is presented for approval each December. However, it is not officially adopted until the council approves it via a resolution in August or September of the following year.
Businesses are mainly affected by the tax rate because Jonesboro’s $60,000 homestead exemption is so high — and home values are so low — that virtually no residents pay the property tax.
After Norrington and Segner walked into the meeting, the council voted unanimously to give Public Works Director Joe Nettleton permission to buy a $13,000 Kubota utility vehicle.
“This is going to be a multipurpose-type vehicle,” Nettleton said. “It’s going to mostly be set up for curb and gutter work, but we can also rig it up on the back with an electrical pump-style sprayer to spray Roundup on the curbs where we have tons of grass growing.”
Nettleton told the council the vehicle’s purchase can be financed through the Georgia Municipal Association and the city may not have to begin making payments on it until next year. Finance Director Sandra Meyer said GMA officials have assured her there shouldn’t be any problems with the city’s financing application.
Nettleton said he wanted to get the council’s permission to buy one now because the price is expected to increase by approximately $600 at the end of the year.
Wiggins asked if the city needed to bid out the project because of the price. Nettleton explained the cost was set as a state bid price and could not be negotiated for a lower amount. He did get a cost estimate on another, similar utility vehicle made by Polaris, called the Polaris Ranger. Both vehicles have four seats.
The Polaris Ranger costs $2,000 less than the Kubota, said Nettleton. However, he said only the Kubota’s back seats can be folded down to give public works employees extra storage space in the bed of the vehicle.