In action that could have political and legal ramifications, the Barrow County Board of Commissioners on May 28 rejected Winder’s request for a 3-mill rollback of the county’s ad valorem tax rate for fire services and unilaterally canceled a 1997 agreement recognizing the city’s separate fire district. The actions, put on the table by BOC Chairman Pat Graham, followed a presentation by a consultant who said the county for years has given Winder property owners too much of a break on their property taxes for the fire district. Phil Sutton of Sutton Consulting LLC said the city’s property owners should get less than one mill of a rollback. If the BOC at a future meeting adopts his recommended rollback of 0.932 mills, it would cost Winder property owners more than $600,000 in additional county taxes. Winder finance director Leslie Henderson said Wednesday that the 3-mill rollback requested by the city would have saved property owners $857,100 when tax bills go out this fall. Sutton’s recommended rollback would amount to only $234,580.
For the full story, read the May 29 edition of the Barrow Journal.