Friday, October 30, 2015

The breakdown of a tax dollar for LaVista Hills properties

The City of Decatur often provides residents with information about how the average tax dollar is allocated (ie, how much goes to the schools versus government operations). I thought it might be helpful to provide prospective residents of LaVista Hills with a rough estimate along the same lines if their cityhood initiative is approved in the Nov. 3 referendum.

Currently, the combined county millage rate for unincorporated property owners in DeKalb is 44.54 mills. Of that total, 47 percent of tax dollars for non-homesteaded property goes to DeKalb County, and 53 percent goes toward DeKalb schools. The breakdown would vary for properties with homestead exemptions.

If cityhood is approved, homeowners in LaVista Hills would continue receiving property tax bills from the DeKalb County tax commissioner, but the allocation would change. Instead of reflecting taxes based on millage rates for unincorporated DeKalb, the homeowners would receive bills based on adjusted millage rates for county services and a separate millage rate for LaVista Hills. The tax bills would continue including county charges for general operations, hospitals (Grady), county bonds, fire service, debt service for unincorporated bonds that predate cityhood, and for DeKalb County schools.

If cityhood had already been in effect for 2015, we could assume an adjusted current year combined county-school-city millage rate of 43.4 mills. This would be based on the combined 44.54 mills minus 4.69 mills for county police service which LaVista Hills would take over themselves, minus 1.45 mills for special county services which the city would take over, plus 5 mills for operations of the new city as stipulated by the proposed charter for LaVista Hills. The adjusted breakdown of a non-homesteaded property owner’s tax dollar under that scenario would be 33.8 percent going to DeKalb, 54.7 percent going to DeKalb schools, and 11.5 percent going toward the new city.

In other words, unlike Decatur where the bulk of a net tax dollar is allocated to the city and city schools, LaVista Hills property owners would continue paying the bulk of their property taxes to DeKalb and its school system. However, those figures would be subject to change pending actual future year millage rates, homestead exemptions and HOST credits, and would vary by individual tax bill.

No comments:

Post a Comment