- Parent Category: County News
- Published on 03 November 2010
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Bartow County’s government operations and services are funded through several mechanisms – property taxes, Local Option Sales Tax (LOST), revenues from utilities and other services, fees, fines and state and federal grants. Numerous capital projects have been funded with a 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), which is approved by referendum by Bartow County voters. The most recent SPLOST was approved in June 2007 and extends the SPLOST for six more years, after the end of the current SPLOST due to expire in 2008.
The Bartow County Commissioner sets the county’s budget annually and sets the millage rates for which properties will be taxed. Bartow County’s annual tax digest has shown the rise of total property values, leading to steady revenue increases. In this decade, the total land value of taxable property has increased from $2.099 billion to $2.834 billion. In 2001, the county collected $15.3 million in property taxes; in 2006, $24.8 million. The growth in new construction of homes and businesses indicate a positive outlook for the county’s tax base well into the future.
The same can be said of revenues from sales tax revenues. The 1 percent Local Option Sales Tax is also an important part of funding county operations. Like property tax revenues, the positive growth in business and industry has seen more revenues. In 2006, the county collected $14.7 million in sales tax revenues, almost $5 million more than the county collected in 2002. Using its SPLOST funding, Bartow County has been able to formulate capital improvement plans which have spanned almost two decades.
Even though growth in the community has increased the demand for services, the county has managed to maintain a balanced budget and a positive operating fund balance. Property millage rates have remained fairly stable through recent years. Presently the unincorporated rate is 8.26 mills and 9.58 mills in incorporated areas. These rates were set in 2006 and were lowered from 2005, and remain among the one-third lowest county maintenance and operation millage rates in the state.
*Based on 2007 Bartow County Budget