DeKalb County may have to raise property taxes higher than expected after new calculations revealed Tuesday show property values have plunged even more than anticipated.
The 13-percent drop in property values translates into an estimated $40 million shortfall in the 2011 budget –- and what some county commissioners say could lead to a 4-mil tax hike this summer. The drop in the county’s assessed value, down to $20.8 billion, had been projected last week to be about 10.5 percent.
But commissioners, who have the final say on the budget, say they won’t approve any tax increase unless the CEO Burrell Ellis offers up more cuts.
My casual calculations, based on the formulas in this Decatur Tax Blog post, seem to show that a 4 mill increase on a $275,000 house would result in an annual property tax increase of around $400. Throw in the roughly $120 DECREASE Decatur residents will soon see on their DeKalb taxes due to the elimination of long-running “double-taxation”, and it’s possible that the $1,600 tax difference between the two municipalities on a $275,000 home could be reduced to at least a $1,200 difference (if you assume the DeKalb mill increase wipes out the “no-more-double-taxation” drop for Decatur residents).
Decatur’s taxes may still be higher, but they certainly seem a bit more sustainable than those in DeKalb. How much more expensive must DeKalb get before annexation requests come flooding in?