Property taxes in Liberty County are set to increase

Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 2, 2022 at 5:22 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - If you live in Liberty County, you could soon see an increase in your property taxes. The Board of Commissioners is in the process of increasing their millage rate.

“Over the past five years, the commissioners have made a commitment to public safety.”

This includes the county establishing its own paid fire department and taking over the EMS department…. Causing taxes to increase. The red line on this graph shows the increase of public safety spending over time – in 2020, that number was close to $12 million, the budget for 2023 shows a public safety budget of more than $24 million.

“There were times literally in the last 3-5 years where somebody would call 911 out in the unincorporated area or some of the smaller cities, you would call 911 and nobody could come. That was just unacceptable for a growing community of our size,” Liberty County CFO Kim Mcglothlin said.

It’s an increase of 0.8 mills over the past year’s rate. McGlothlin says for example, a homeowner in unincorporated Liberty County with a property value of $150,000 would’ve likely paid around $996 in property taxes last year and this year it would increase to $1,044.

“The other option is to cut back and eliminate those, or reduce them and cut back. I don’t think anyone wants their services cut back, certainly not in the area of public safety.”

McGlothlin says establishing the fire and EMS departments, as well as adding positions to the Sheriff’s Department resulted in about 100 new hires over the past few years.

“Hopefully what will happen is that things will start to level off, because this was the last push to get all of those employees in.”

A third and final public hearing for the property tax increase is on Nov. 17.