Beaufort County Council approves reduced school millage rate

zmurdock@beaufortgazette.comSeptember 23, 2013 

BCGOV.NET

All tax rates in Beaufort County have been set after County Council approved revised millage for the county school district Monday.

The county auditor's staff can begin entering the tax-rate information into the software that calculates individual property-tax bills on Tuesday morning, Auditor Sharon Burris said.

Bills won't likely arrive for some time, however.

State law says the county has to wait to mail final bills until after the delinquent-tax auction Oct. 7 and after the last installment-payment deadline for 2013 tax bills in mid-October, Burris said.

The county typically has tax bills in the mail the first week of November, she added.

The type of property, its taxable value and applicable millage -- there are more than 30 different millages in Beaufort County -- affect the amount of the bill.

The council vote Monday reduces the school district's millage from 100.55 mills to 97.45 mills.

The decrease eliminates an unexpected $3 million windfall in the district's 2014 budget created by a tax hike, which was designed to offset a decline in property values after a countywide reassessment.

In June, the County Council set the district's tax rate at 100.55 mills to be revenue-neutral. The school board discovered the district would receive more money than expected when its budget figures were calculated after the reassessment was completed in August, Board of Education Chairman Bill Evans said Sept. 9 at a County Council meeting.

The roughly $121 million in tax revenue generated by property taxes accounts for most of the district's $182.9 million budget for the fiscal year that started July 1, according to Phyllis White, district chief operational services officer.

In other action, County Council denied a request from the Bluffton Park Community Owners Association to take back maintenance responsibility of Ninth Avenue and Pin Oak and Red Cedar streets in Bluffton.

Click here for the full agenda.

Follow reporter Zach Murdock at twitter.com/IPBG_Zach.

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