Tifton Gazette

Local News

September 13, 2008

City tax bills are coming

TIFTON — City property owners can expect to receive their city tax bills early this week as the company that processes them is scheduled to mail them Monday. Like the Tift County Board of Commissioners and the Tift County Board of Education, the City of Tifton included the Homestead Exemption in their tax calculations in hopes the state comes through with reimbursement.

According to Krissy Fillyaw, senior tax collector for the city, the city’s current millage rate of 5.759, is the same as it’s been since 2006. In 2005, the city’s millage rate was 6.997. The city has 7,206 taxable properties in Tifton and expects to collect $1.9 million from taxpayers based on zero growth in the tax digest. The deadline to pay city taxes is Nov. 15, the same day as Tift County’s taxes are due.

City Clerk Rona Martin said that some residents don’t realize they have to apply with the city tax office as well as the county tax office in order to receive both Homestead Exemption allotments.

The city has wrestled with a $1.7 million shortfall in the 2009 budget and City Manager Mike Vollmer said Friday that the city reduced its overall operating budget by 4.1 percent and its training and travel budget by 50 percent.

“We wanted to prepare for a lean budget year just like Tifton families have had to,” Vollmer said.

The city’s only “wild card” for income is from the $101,000 in state reimbursement for the Homestead Exemption allotted to city residents and the pending sale of CityNet to Mediacom. The money from that sale will go directly to CityNet debt, Vollmer said.

“We have to address that debt and we are obligate to pay back the bonds,” Vollmer said.

Vollmer said the latest discussions between city and Mediacom representatives centered around Mediacom’s commitment to continued good customer service once the sale is finalized.

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