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City of Guyton's millage rate one step from approval
City of Guyton

GUYTON — The Guyton City Council is poised to set its millage rate at 2.929 at its Aug. 25 meeting at 7 p.m. The proposal is equivalent to the rollback rate, which was adopted the previous two years.

When a local government adopts the roll-back rate, it isn’t increasing taxes even when the rate itself increases. That’s because the rollback rate calculates taxable property values in relation to the total revenue they generate for a government.

“Effingham County (tax assessors) calculate the digest, which is the value of all the property in Effingham County,” Mayor Russ Deen said. “It’s a good thing that property values have risen in Effingham County, especially considering inflation. If our property values were stagnant at a time that inflation is 10 percent, we would be getting bull dipped in terms of losing money. 

“Just this past year, Guyton increased existing property values by $9.4 million. Other changes, which usually means new construction, was $6.2 million. That’s massive (in terms of property values).”

According to projections, Guyton’s net 2022 levy would be 238,602, 11.87 percent more than the previous year, if the rollback rate is OK’d.

“The fact that we have rolled the rate back three years in a row shows that we are headed in the right direction,” Deen said. “We are bringing in more money but it’s mainly due to the fact that property values have dramatically increased and new property has dramatically increased.

“This is not a significant tax increase upon existing property owners, at least as far as the city goes.”

Deen suggested that taxpayers examine their bills closely to see how much money goes to various government entities.

“You will see that Guyton is not taking the lion’s share and we want to do our best to limit what we have to continue to run,” Deen said. “The other thing that is worth mentioning is that we are blessed to live in a county where we have TSPLOST, LOST and SPLOST. All these local option sales taxes make it so much easier to roll back property tax rates and to allow Rincon to have no property tax.

“I hope for that to be a goal for Guyton one day.”