The Jacksonville, Fla., News does a nice job explaining that, contrary to what many think, the property tax burden is highest in some of Georgia’s poorest, more rural counties – and it’s not a situation in which a sales tax would fix anything:
Getting away from the hustle and bustle, the noise and the traffic sometimes comes with a larger tax burden. The tax rates that property owners pay in rural Southeast Georgia counties are as much as 50 percent more than those living in counties with higher populations.
The property tax rate is set in mills – one-tenth of a cent. One mill produces $1 in tax revenue for every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value.
In Glynn County, for example, the millage rate differs between districts depending on the level of services, such as fire protection and other factors. Because it has its own fire department and law enforcement, Jekyll Island residents pay some of the lowest tax rates in the county and region at 20.461 mills. The rate at Sea Island is 22.872 mills.
In Charlton County, about an hour’s drive away, residents often complain about the high tax rate, currently set at 36.87 mills.
And the amount generated by one mill in taxes is vastly different from county to county -about $5.3 million in Glynn County and $1.7 million in Camden County, where the rate is 26.7 mills. In Charlton County, one mill raises only about $334,000 in taxes.
The reason for the difference is driven by population, commercial development and the value of residences, county officials said.
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