Forsyth County property tax bills have recently been mailed and are due November 15. Here’s some information to assist with understanding your 2016 tax bill.
Tax bills reflect levies by two different entities:
the Forsyth County Board of Education (school system)
the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners (county government)
As shown in the illustration below, Forsyth County government receives approximately 29% of the taxes you pay.
What does the county’s portion of your tax bill include?
The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners sets only the county government’s portion of your tax bill (while the Board of Education sets theirs). The county government’s levies include three components which can be classified in two categories:
1. What it takes to operate the county:
2. Voter-approved levies that have a defined purpose, limited amount and time:
Maintenance and Operations: The Board of Commissioners in July voted to maintain the Maintenance and Operations millage rate at 4.642 mills.
Fire: The Fire millage rate funds the Fire Department and remained unchanged at 1.975 mills.
Bond: When voters approve for the county to issue debt for a General Obligation Bond, that debt is typically repaid via property taxes. In November 2014, more than 63% of voters approved the Forsyth County Transportation Bond to fund a variety of transportation projects. Accordingly, the Bond millage rate reflects the debt service requirements for the Transportation Bond and the continuing debt service on the Parks, Recreation and Green Space Bonds from 2008 and 2013.
The Transportation Bond enabled the county to advance projects sooner than otherwise would have been possible, while leveraging state and federal funding. An estimated 50%, or $50 million, of the first $100 million that was issued is earmarked for state highways including the widening of SR 400 from McFarland Parkway to SR 369.
How Forsyth County’s Millage Rates Compare
The millage rates levied by Forsyth County government continue to be among the lowest in metro Atlanta, all while providing top-notch public safety services, quality programs, excellent libraries and award-winning parks and recreational amenities. Here’s how Forsyth County government’s millage rates for Maintenance and Operations, Fire and Bond compare to millage rates of neighboring counties:
Did Your 2016 Tax Bill Increase or Decrease?
Some Forsyth County citizens may have seen an increase or decrease on their tax bill. The two primary factors that may have resulted in this are:
If the assessed value for your property went up or down, for which an appeal process is available (please note, appeals must be filed within 45 days from the date of the assessment notice that was sent)
The state decreased their millage rate by 0.05 mills to a rate of 0; if your assessment remained unchanged or decreased, your tax bill may have decreased as a result
Did you know that those who live in Forsyth County and have homestead exemption on their residence receive what is called floating homestead? This means that if their property assessment goes up, the amount of their homestead exemption automatically increases in order to offset the reassessment; this in turn offsets any increase in the county Maintenance and Operations and Fire taxes due to the reassessment. This adjustment does not apply to school or Bond property taxes.