Category: A - Newsbreaks
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July 18--  Property revaluations in Toombs County are expected to increase the value of the county's tax digest, however, the chairman of the county commission says he expects a rollback in the tax rate on the county's portion of the property tax.

"I've talked to several of the commissioners and it's not our desire to use this increase in the digest as a backdoor tax increase.  Our desire is to rollback the millage rate so that it's a net zero for the county.

"I'm sure certain people will see increases and certain people will see decreases, but as far as it effects the county's income, it will be a net wash and we'll make sure we reduce the millage rate.  I will make sure that I vote, if I cast the tie breaking vote, to keep the millage rate low enough that it does not create additional revenue for the county. 

"The economy is still rough and we need to do everything we can to make sure the people of Toombs County have money in their pockets to spend at stores and to employ our citizens," Commission Chairman Blake Tillery says.

Meanwhile, there's still a chance the Toombs County school board will raise its property tax rate.

County School Superintendent Dr. Kim Corley says it's not something the board wants to do, but it's an option.

"We're just looking at options right now to consider different things.  Nothing is definite at this point, but that is something we're having to consider.   Our tax rates are just so low.  We're the sixth lowest in the state of Georgia right now and we've tried to keep it that way so we don't have to go up on the property owners, but at some point, we may have to consider it," she said.

In actions at its July meeting, the county commission:

*  approved an agreement that guarantees the Lyons Fire Department will respond to county fires within five miles of the city limits.  The county will pay $600 per fire and says the agreement will help reduce fire insurance rates for county residents.

*  agreed to build seven new cells at the county landfill in the next two years.

*  approved a survey to identify which dirt roads the county wants to pave using $500,000 in transportation sales tax revenue.

* approved an agreement with Montgomery County to house its prisoners in the Toombs County jail for a fee of $35 a day for each inmate.

* approved an annual contract of $105,509 to pay public defenders in the court system.

*  reappointed Raymond Turner and named Gail Widener to the Heart of Georgia Regional Commission Aging Advisory Committee.