Mayor Tomlinson: Property taxes not rising but value going up

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - There was a lot of confusion after the City of Columbus sent out a press release, announcing a proposed property tax increase but Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says there will be no tax increase.

"In no way are we, or have we, increased the tax rate or millage rate in anyway," Mayor Tomlinson told News Leader 9. The confusion came because of mandatory language requirements from the state in Monday's statement to the public on taxes.

Mayor Tomlinson says of the city, "[We have] to notify the citizens whether or not the tax receipts have increased for the community, and it's a good thing in our case. They have not increased in tax hikes, or tax increases, but, they've increased due to growth."

But what is a receipt? The receipts are the funds that are coming in from the taxes.

"So if you have a home for $100,000, it's been valued under our tax system, [then] it's applied to all the residential properties. And you were going to spend a certain amount of taxes. If you sell your house for $150,000, necessarily, the person who's jus tbought your house is going to pay more taxes because they're paying on a highe ramount."

Mayor Tomlinson added, that with several new homes being built and purchased, and with the military growth in the area, what used to be vacant lots now have homes and those new property tax dollars are adding to the city's receipts.  She says it's actually good and shows Columbus is growing and has more value.

Pam Hodge, Columbus' Finance Director says, "The receipts have increased based on the valuation, times your millage rate; so that equals your tax receipt."

The tax receipts have increased from $72 to $73 million this year from last year.

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved.