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City of Decatur says proposed tax increase could be lower due to property value increases

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City of Decatur says proposed tax increase could be lower due to property value increases

The former United Methodist Children's Home campus in Decatur. The campus is now called Legacy Park. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

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The United Methodist Children’s Home in Decatur. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

A proposed tax increase to pay back the money the city of Decatur borrowed to buy the old United Methodist Children’s Home campus will likely be reduced because of increased property values in Decatur.

The city of Decatur in 2017 paid a hefty price of $40 million for the 77-acre United Methodist Children’s Home campus. At the City Commission’s May 21 meeting, Assistant City Manager Andrea Arnold said the city was proposing a .49 percent millage increase, taking the city’s overall millage rate to 13.98 mills.


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But Arnold said at the time that the increase was assuming a 6 percent growth in the tax digest. Since that meeting, the city has received information that the actual growth will be 8.9 percent, meaning the proposed .49 millage increase can be reduced. The city did not say what the new proposed millage rate will be.

“The tentative millage rate was adopted prior to receipt of the 2018 property tax digest from DeKalb County,” a press release from the city says. “The 2018 real property tax digest, which was received May 24, is 8.9 percent higher than the 2017 tax digest and 36 percent of that increase is due to new property value, not reassessments.”

The City Commission will hold public hearings on the millage rate on June 4, June 11, and June 18.

The June 4 Decatur City Commission meeting will begin with a work session at 4 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 7:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held at City Hall, located at 509 North McDonough Street, and is open to the public.

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