Roswell’s property tax rate will remain the same for Fiscal Year 2021.
Roswell mayor and council voted to keep the property tax rate at 4.955 mills for the third year in a row during the Aug. 31 council meeting. In 2018, Roswell City Council lowered the millage rate from 5.455 (a level it had been kept at since FY 2009) to 4.955 for FY 2019 to help offset the impact of increased property assessments in Fulton County.
Roswell city council held a virtual public hearing Aug. 26 for residents to provide their feedback, but no residents attending the Zoom meeting.
According to the city, the proposed rate is .43% higher than rollback rate of 4.685 mills. Of the property tax residents pay, the city of Roswell makes up around 15% of the total tax. Fulton County Schools make up 54% and Fulton County makes up 13%, according to director of finance Ryan Luckett.
With a 4.955 millage rate, a house with an assessed value of $300,000 would have an assessed tax of $4,156.56. A Roswell resident who owns a property with a Fair Market Value of $250,000 (assessed value of $100,000 or 40 percent of the Fair Market Value) would pay $495 for their city tax.
During the 2019 tax year, 80% of property tax appeals were heard and resulted in tax reductions.
Council members Mike Palermo, Marcelo Zapata and Christine Hall voted against the proposed tax rate. During the Aug. 24 meeting, Palermo proposed to cut the budget by $1 million.
“Residents are having a tough time and we should not be raising their taxes this year,” Palermo said. “We should be reducing their millage rate. We need to show that were going to do the right thing and really even set us up for better success next year to make sure we have a budget that has things that are more focused an residents’ benefits and makes tougher decisions.”
However, Mayor Lori Henry said the city has already made numerous budget cuts, largely due to COVID-19.
“When someone say you can cut $1 million today,” Henry said, “What I’m saying to you is look at what we’ve had cut out of the budget.”
The FY 2021 budget sets aside an additional reserve of $1.6 million to address the financial uncertainty caused by the pandemic. The city has decreased the use of part-time workers by 78% and implemented a hiring freeze. City staff will also go without a raise this fiscal year. Departments have halted discretionary spending and numerous capital project are being delayed. Henry said the city currently has $7.1 million in unfunded city maintenance requests.
“Playing politics with this through semantics is dangerous,” council member Matt Judy said.”Based upon the information given and outstanding appeals, this is the only choice to keep our citizens safe, our employees employed and the city running optimally.”
“What I’m presenting to you is a budget that will get us through COVID-19, God willing,” Henry said. “I will stand by my word that this is a good solid sound budget.”
For more information and to pay your property taxes online, visit https://www.roswellgov.com/government/departments/finance/property-taxes.