The Henry County Board of Commissioners voted August 4 to approve a resolution authorizing the sale of $30 million in general obligation sales tax bonds, to be paid for with revenue from the new SPLOST program that was approved by voters last November. In a separate vote, the board approved a lease-purchase financing agreement with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia in the amount of $17,230,000 that includes the execution, delivery and issuance of a deed conveying the Henry County Judicial Center to the ACCG.
These actions took place at a special called meeting several hours after the regular morning meeting, as both items were taken off the earlier agenda and added to the later one, which included a public hearing on the new millage rate. Both votes were 5-0, as board chair June Wood did not attend the meeting.
The bond issuance is expected to allow the county to get a head start on certain SPLOST projects before the actual sales tax revenue comes in. Officials expect around $204 million to be generated during the five-year SPLOST collection period.
The lease-purchase agreement is intended to allow the county to borrow money for a portion of its capital improvement plan, and its structure allows it to be done without a voter referendum.
In other business, the commissioners voted August 11 to hold the millage rate in unincorporated Henry County to last year’s rate of 12.733. The millage rate for the 2021 fiscal year was approved following the second required public hearing.
The board also approved resolutions on Special Service Districts (SSD) to set a millage rate to levy taxes for the purpose of providing county services to unincorporated Henry County, and the cities of Hampton, Locust Grove, McDonough and Stockbridge. The four SSDs include services for Fire, Police, Recreation and Unincorporated which covers GIS mapping, building permits and inspections, planning and zoning and code enforcement.
The Board set the county’s millage rate at 9.474 mills for McDonough, 12.402 mills for Stockbridge, 10.578 mills for Hampton and 10.578 mills for Locust Grove. These rates include the Special Service District millage rates.
A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value. The millage rate is a multiplier based on the assessed value of property, which determines how much in property taxes an individual or entity pays to the county. The county then uses that revenue to fund the annual budget.
Of every property tax dollar that is paid, 50 cents goes to the Henry County Board of Education, 37 to the Board of Commissioners, 8 cents to the school bond and 5 cents to the Henry County Water Authority, according to county tax commissioner Michael Harris.
In his presentation, Harris pointed the various exemptions for qualifying homeowners, such as the homestead exemption, that can reduce the overall tax bill. He added that the website for his office, henrytc.org, has a great deal of helpful information in this regard.