The Sugar Hill City Council has announced it will set the 2023 millage rate at its regular August meeting. Three public hearings on the proposed millage rate will allow for public comment, as required by state law, and will be held prior to the council’s voting session.
The proposed millage rate is 3.69 mills, a reduction from 3.8 mills in 2022.
A millage rate is the tax rate used to calculate local property taxes. A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value.
The proposed millage rate reduction will be the city’s first tax rate cut in 20 years as the millage rate has remained consistent at 3.8 mills since 2003. With a millage rate reduction, property owners could still see an increase in property taxes.
“Without this tentative millage rate reduction, the tax increase would be 16.83%, and the millage rate would be no more than 3.409 mills,” the city states. “The tentatively adopted millage rate of 3.69 mils would reduce the tax increase to 13.45%.”
According to the city, the proposed tax increase for a homestead property in the city with an average fair market value of $450,000, at the proposed reduced millage rate of 3.69, is approximately $50 per year. The proposed tax increase for a non-homestead property in the city with an average fair market value of $475,000, at the proposed reduced millage rate, is approximately $54 per year.
“The increase in revenue over 2022, using the current millage rate of 3.8 mils, is the result of the reassessment of property values by the Gwinnett County Board of Tax Assessors as well as new construction added to the city tax digest over the last year,” the city states, “not an actual increase in the millage rate.”
Sugar Hill property owners could see some property tax relief through increases in homestead exemptions. Last fall, the city council asked state Rep. Matt Reeves to introduce three pieces of local legislation to increase exemptions.
According to the city, the general homestead exemption for homeowners would increase from $2,000 to $10,000, while homeowners who are seniors would see an increase from $4,000 to $20,000. Income-tested disabled senior homeowners would see their exemption increase from $6,000 to $30,000.
“If these three measures are approved by the voters this November, Sugar Hill homeowners will benefit from a 400% increase in their homestead exemption,” Sugar Hill Mayor Brandon Hembree said in a letter to residents. “This is the first time in three decades that homestead exemptions have been increased. We owe our thanks to Representative Reeves for agreeing to sponsor this tax-friendly local legislation as well as each member of the city council for their leadership in championing this tax cut as well as the proposed millage rate reduction.
“As elected officials, we have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure our finances are in order,” Hembree continued. “Because of our strong financial health and well managed city, we can afford to reduce the city millage rate, maintain our enhanced standard of service the community has come to expect, while continuing to make strategic investments in quality-of-life projects like the Sugar Hill Greenway and Ridge Lake Park.”
Public hearings on the proposed millage rate will be held at 8:30 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, at Sugar Hill City Hall at 5039 W. Broad St. The city council will hold its regular monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, and will conduct a third and final required public hearing before taking action to adopt the 2023 millage rate.