The tax rate for the county government is going down slightly following action by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners on Sept. 25.
The board rolled the unincorporated rate back by .25 mills and the incorporated rate was rolled back by .1 mills.
The unincorporated rate will be 9.166 mills and the incorporated rate 10.813 mills.
Despite the millage rate cut, the county expects to receive more in property tax revenues than last year due to growth in the county's tax digest.
Highlights of the county's FY2020 budget, which the BOC also approved on Sept. 25, are:
• The county's general fund budget will be $51.4 million and its overall budget of all funds will top $73.3 million.
• The largest single source of income for the county is property taxes, which are expected to be a little over $29 million. Sales taxes are expected to bring in around $8 million and services charges around $11.3 million.
• The largest area of expense for the county is in public safety, which tops $25 million. Within that, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office makes up $7.5 million, the largest single department in the county, followed by the jail at $6.6 million, and EMS at $5.2 million.
• Other major areas of county spending are: Courts at $4.5 million; roads at $3.6 million; correctional institute at $2.9 million; transfer station (waste disposal) at $2.7 million; E911 at $1.8 million; information technology (IT) at $1.5 million; facilities maintenance at $1 million; and property appraisals at $1 million.
• Debt service payments are also a large part of the county's budget at $9.99 million for FY2020. Some of those payments are funded by SPLOST dollars while general fund revenues fund the remainder.
• The county expects to net over $700,000 in FY2020, funds that would be added to the county's reserves. The county projects having over $10 million in unassigned reserves at the end of 2020.
New in the FY2020 budget are:
• A three percent pay hike for all county employees costing $590,000.
• New voting equipment costing around $50,000.
• IT system upgrades costing around $400,000.
• Paving projects costing $1 million.
• 2 new ambulances costing $240,000 each.
• 12 new sheriff's office vehicles at a total cost of $541,000.
• New vehicles for various other departments.
• 12 new employee positions, including two new sheriff's deputies and one new investigator; an additional E911 officer; two new heavy equipment operators for the road department; a mechanic; deputy clerks for the probate court and magistrate court; an administrative assistant for animal control; upgrading three part-time positions to full-time; and both full and part-time positions for the new county agricultural center.
FIRE DISTRICT TAXES
In addition to setting the county's tax rate, the BOC also approved the tax rates levied by the county's various tax districts. Those rates are:
Nicholson 1.5 mills
West Jackson 3.63 mills
Harrisburg 2.0 mills
South Jackson 1.95 mills
Jackson Trail 2.0 mills
North Jackson .7 mills
Maysville 1.8 mills
Arcade 1.64 mills
East Jackson 1.6 mills
Central Jackson 2.12 mills