EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A battle is brewing in Effingham County after they released information regarding a proposed millage increase last week.
But county officials say the information is a bit misleading and they're now working to clear it up during public hearings.
“There was a notice put on the county website of a 16.41 percent increase and there was, I guess, a lack of information getting out explaining the increase,” said Effingham County resident Casey Ivey
Information Effingham County is now trying to better explain to their residents.
Much of the confusion due to that release, which the county is required by state law to put showing an increase to the Maintenance and Operations millage.
However, what many people didn’t see was that despite an increase to that millage, the county had balanced it out by lowering others, like roads, recreation and hospital.
Meaning, ”you’re grand total last year with all of those was 10.618 mills. Your total this year is 10.618 mills,” said Effingham Co. Manager Tim Callanan.
Keeping it the same for unincorporated residents of Effingham County, Callanan says was no easy task.
“So, we had to run a very tight budget this year. We established our budget then we had to go back in when COVID hit and basically slash everything.”
Of course, despite the millage staying the same, what residents pay is based off the assessment of their property value.
A number they say is getting out of control
“Mine went up $30,000 in one year,” said Ivey.
“In the last two years there was a 55 percet value increase on my home,” added Effingham County resident Ariel Beasley.
An issue that may not lie at the feet of the commissioners.
“It sounded like the problem was not so much the millage rate but more so the drastic increases in assessments over the years,” said Beasley.
But for Ivey, she feels there’s still more commissioners can do and she hopes these hearings will send a message.
"Maybe make them think a little or at least know the citizens of Effingham County are kind of done with taxes. We need a little break."
The impact of the millage proposal will vary for those living in incorporated parts of Rincon, Springfield and Guyton depending on what services the county provides those areas.
There are two more public hearing on the proposed millage rate.
The next one is this evening at 7 p.m.
The final one will be August 25 at 10 a.m. following that hearing commission will vote on the millage.
For more information you can reach out to Callanan by email at firstname.lastname@example.org