published Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Chattooga to hold hearings on property tax increase


Hearing dates for proposed property tax increase:

• Monday, Aug. 19 at 11 a.m.

• Monday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m.

• Monday, Aug. 26 at 4 p.m.

Location: Chattooga County Civic Center,

Chattooga County, Ga., residents will have three chances to voice their opinions about a property tax increase of almost 20 percent proposed by the county.

Sole County Commissioner Jason Winters announced the property tax hikes in a public notice last week.

The notice states that a residence with a fair market value of $75,000 in the county would pay an additional $46.38 in the unincorporated areas and $42.57 in the incorporated areas. The county charges less on those living inside city limits than those living outside.

Winters couldn't be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

Georgia counties have to submit their tax digest, the sum of all the property in a county and its millage rates, by Aug. 1.

But county Tax Commissioner Kathy V. Brown said Chattooga County got an exemption until Sept. 1 to file its tax digest.

"This one is in the works; he's already published it to all the news media," Brown said of county government's proposed tax hike.

Three public hearings will be held at the Chattooga County Civic Center at the junction of U.S. Highway 27 and Georgia Highways 27 and 48.

Nearby in Walker County, schools and county government aren't raising taxes. Dade County schools are increasing taxes, but county government isn't. Catoosa County schools and county government both have increased the millage rate.

In Chattooga County, there's no word on a potential school tax increase, said Chad Bierkamp, a county appraiser and mapper.

"The school hasn't said anything, so we don't know about the school yet," Bierkamp said.

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at or 423-757-6651.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.

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