the Assessors Office
Chattooga County, Georgia
  "The intent and purpose of the tax laws of this state are to have all property and subjects of taxation returned at the value which would be realized from the cash sale, but not the forced sale, of the property and subjects as such property and subjects are usually sold except as otherwise provided in this chapter."
O.C.G.A 48-5-1



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What IS a "Mill Rate"?

   For tax purposes, the terms "mill rate" and "tax rate" are interchangeable. Millage is a mathematical term, much like the word "percentage"; but where a percent is 1/100th, (1percent as a decimal is 0.01) a mill is 1/1,000th (1 mill as a decimal is 0.001). Because of this, property taxes are calculated on a "dollars per thousand" basis.

   For example, the 2006 millage rate for property in Chattooga County, Georgia not located inside the city limits of Summerville, Trion, Lyerly, or Menlo was 18.6570 mills. This means that for 2006, these properties were taxed at $18.657 per $1,000 of taxable property value. (I say taxable value because, by law, only 40% of your property value is taxable. If we have your property appraised at $100,000, then its taxable or assessed value is $40,000). Taxes are calculated by mulitiplying the millage rate by your taxable property value.

$40,000 (assessed value) x 0.0186570 (millage rate) = $746.28 (taxes)

How is the Mill Rate determined?

   Currently, the mill rate in Chattooga is a composite of the individual tax rates of the three entities that have the power to levy taxes: the state of Georgia, the County of Chattooga, and the Chattooga County School System. The State's mill rate is set by law at 0.00025 (0.25 mills). For the County and the County School, however, the individual tax rates are determined according to this formula:

Budget / Tax Base = Mill Rate

"Budget" is the amount of money the taxing entity (the County or the County School) needs to raise through property taxes. "Tax Base" is the total taxable value of all property in the County.

   For 2006, the County budget included revenues from taxes in the amount of $5,860,400 (I'm rounding this to the nearest $100 for the sake of simplicity). The tax base, according to the Assessors Office, was $541,876,000 (again, rounding to the nearest $100). Insert these numbers into the formula and you get:

5,860,400 (Budget) / 541,876,000 (Tax Base) = 0.010815 (the County's 2006 Mill Rate)

   For the County School System, the numbers that go into the formula are:

4,301,100 (Budget) / 440,323,600 (Tax Base) = 0.009768 (the School's 2006 Mill Rate)

   Add them all together (0.00025 State + 0.008639 County + 0.009768 County School) and you get a total mill rate of 0.018657 for the tax year of 2006.

   Now some of you sharper-eyed folks have probably noticed that this total millage does not match the millage I used in the sample tax calculation above. There is a reason for that, and it is dealt with in FAQ # 17