Three Cities Propose a 2024 Property Tax Increase in Henry County

Photo collage showing the Hampton train depot, McDonough city hall and Stockbridge city hall (Clayton Carte photos and Stockbridge photo).
(Hampton and McDonough / Clayton Carte photos and Stockbridge / city photo)

Three cities in Henry County — Hampton, McDonough and Stockbridge — are considering a property tax increase for 2024. The fourth city, Locust Grove, does not presently levy a property tax.

Public hearings to set the millage rate in each respective city will be in July. The cities must set their millage rates by the end of the month.

Property Tax Increase 2024

Hampton

First, the city of Hampton is proposing a millage rate of 5.5 mills. This would be an increase over its 2023 millage rate. City residents paid 4 mills in 2023.

When considering a millage rate increase, state law requires a city to hold three public hearings. Those hearings will be at following dates and times: Monday, July 22, at 10 am; Monday, July 22, at 6 pm; and Monday, July 29, at 6 pm.

The Hampton council meets at city hall on East Main Street. They will consider adopting the millage rate at the third and final meeting.

New in 2024, Hampton homeowners will receive a municipal homestead exemption. City voters approved its creation in 2023. In order to receive the exemption, homeowners had to apply for it by April 1. The April deadline is imposed by state law. If a homeowner did not apply in time this year, then they may apply now and receive the tax savings beginning in 2025. Applications are available on the city website.

McDonough

Secondly, McDonough is proposing to maintain their millage rate of 3.033 mills. They have held this millage rate since 2022. However, the council adopted a 1-mill property tax increase for public safety in January 2024. The one-mill increase is broken into a special service district for the city police and city fire departments. Property owners will see this increase for the first time on their November tax bills.

The McDonough public hearings will be on Monday, July 22, at 6 pm; Monday, July 29, at 10 am; and Monday, July 29, at 6 pm. They will be at city hall on Keys Ferry Street. Similarly to Hampton, the city council will consider approving its millage rate at the last meeting.

Stockbridge

Lastly, the city of Stockbridge has advertised a millage rate up to 4.250 mills. They had a millage rate of 3.770 mills in 2023. The difference would be an increase of 0.48 mills.

The Stockbridge public hearings will be on Monday, July 15, at 6:30 PM; Friday, July 19, at 10 AM; and Monday, July 22, at 10 am. They meet at Stockbridge City Hall on North Henry Blvd. The council will consider approving their millage rate on July 22.

July 12 Update: Stockbridge Councilman Alexander shared on Facebook the city council intends to maintain a 3.770 millage rate. This would match their rate from 2023. According to Alexander, a majority of council members are in support of maintaining the current rate.

Voters in Stockbridge will consider creating a homestead exemption this November. If voters approve it, then the tax savings would start in 2025. The state legislature passed Senate Bill 584 in March. It creates a homestead exemption for city residents, seniors and those with septic systems. The exemption would be for $10 thousand for all residents, and $15 thousand for seniors and those with septic systems. This translates to property tax savings of $37.70 and $56.55, respectively, based on a millage rate of 3.77 mills.


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Henry County & Henry County Schools

Henry County Government

The county government charges a variable millage rate, based on a property’s location in either unincorporated or in a city. Their combined millage rate last year was 12.733 mills for unincorporated areas. The county has maintained this millage rate since 2016. Properties within the cities pay a lower county millage rate, based on which services their city provides.

According to the county’s five-year tax digest, they are proposing a general millage rate of 7.042 mills for 2024. This would be a reduction in their general millage rate from one year ago. As a result, the county will collect less tax revenues for its general fund.

The county discussed balancing the general millage rate and special district millage rates during the budget discussions in May. There are presently special districts for county parks, fire, police and unincorporated services. The plan presented in May would balance a decrease in the general millage rate with increases in the special district millage rates. This may result in an overall rate increase. Options discussed in May included an up to a three-mill tax increase for unincorporated properties. This increase would be lower within the cities because properties inside the cities do not pay into all of the county’s special districts.

Special Service Districts

The chart below shows which special district each city is in.

UnincorporatedHamptonLocust GroveMcDonoughStockbridge
County General FundXXXXX
County FireXXXX*X
County PoliceX
County ParksXXXXX
County UnincorporatedX

*Properties within McDonough are expected to begin paying 45% of the county’s fire millage rate in 2024. This is based on the county and cities’ service delivery agreement.

The county’s public hearing will be on Tuesday, July 30, at 1 pm. The board meets at the county admin building on Henry Parkway in McDonough. They will consider adopting a millage rate at that meeting.

July 17 update: this section was updated to include the county’s hearing dates.

Henry County Schools

The school board is proposing to maintain a property tax rate of 20 mills. They have maintained this rate since 2007. The district levies a separate bond debt millage rate. The bond rate was 3.628 mills in 2023. They are proposing to lower this rate for 2024. The proposed reduction would save property owners on their school board taxes.

The school board will hold public hearings on Monday, July 15, at 9 am; Monday, July 15, at 6:30 pm; and Monday, July 22, at 4:30 pm. Their board meetings take place at the district office on Zack Hinton Pkwy in downtown McDonough.

About the Millage Rate

The below section has been reprinted from the Georgia Department of Revenue:

The tax rate, or millage, in each county is set annually by the board of county commissioners, and by the Board of Education. A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value.

The state millage rate on all real and personal property has been phased out. In 2015, the state millage rate was .05. On January 1, 2016, there was no state levy for ad valorem taxation.

Municipalities also assess property taxes based upon county-assessed values and rates established by the municipal governing authority.

How to Figure the Tax: The assessed value (40 percent of the fair market value) of a house that is worth $100,000 is $40,000. In a county where the millage rate is 25 mills the property tax on that house would be $1,000; $25 for every $1,000 of assessed value or $25 multiplied by 40 is $1,000.

Featured image shows the Hampton train depot, McDonough city hall and Stockbridge city hall. Hampton and McDonough photos / credit Clayton Carte and Stockbridge photo / credit city.

About Clayton 1533 Articles
Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of MHF News. He founded the site in 2017 to highlight transportation projects. Over time, he began covering other topics like new development so residents can best know what’s happening in our community.