CANTON — With only one public hearing remaining for the Cherokee County millage rate and only one person to speak thus far at the hearings, commissioners and staff are hoping residents will come out to the special called meeting tonight to voice their opinion before the rates for the upcoming budget year are adopted.

The final public hearing before adopting a 5.715 county millage is tonight at 6 p.m. at the Cherokee County Administrative Complex.

The commission will also vote to accept a 19.45 school board millage rate from the Cherokee County School District.

The county’s proposed rate was lowered to 5.715 mills for the general fund, a drop from commissioners’ advertised proposal of 5.825 mills, Cherokee County Manager Jerry Cooper said at the July 5 public hearing.

The new rate would increase taxes 2.9 percent on the average home after appraisals and includes a 2 percent cost of living raise for county employees, rather than the 2.5 percent raise that was originally advertised, county documents show.

“The rollback rate refers to the current properties. As I mentioned, the current properTY growth is about 3.03 percent,” Cooper said at Tuesday’s public hearing. “If you do not lower the millage rate to offset that growth in existing properties, it is technically by the state law a tax increase.”

The proposed millage rate is a decrease in the tax rate, but is still above the rollback rate, Cooper told commissioners.

“In the last five years, you have lowered the general millage rate from 5.825 to proposed 5.715 for this year,” he said.

The county proposed to lower the millage slightly and use $685,000 in reserves for the General Fund, Cooper said, a move that would help offset a tax increase for property owners.

The millage rate commissioners are eyeing is expected to bring in almost $49.2 million in property taxes for the county.

The Cherokee County School Board millage will also be adopted Thursday for a proposed 19.45 millage rate to fund their proposed $458 million budget.

Although the millage rate will not increase and remain at 19.45 mills for the third consecutive year, residents whose homes increased in value during the last year will see a rise in what they pay, with an anticipated 2.98 percent property tax increase based on tax assessments.

The public hearing and special called meeting are at 1130 Bluffs Parkway in Canton.

In other business Tuesday commissioners:

•Postponed a zoning application by Rosewood Active Adult Communities to rezone 37.7 acres at East Cherokee Drive and Cotton Road from Agricultural to Rural Development with three lots per acre for a single family age 55-plus active adult community until the Aug. 16 commissioners meeting.

•Postponed a zoning application by Jerry, Donna and Stacey Neese to rezone 15.76 acres at 262 Arnold Mill Road from R-40 to Light Industrial and AG for a family farm and future business until the Aug. 2 commissioners meeting.

•Unanimously approved reappointing Dick Hall, Robert Davis and David Pitts to four-year terms to the Airport Authority, as recommended by Airport Authority Chairman Don Stevens.

•Unanimously approved authorization for the Solicitor General’s Office to apply for additional Victim of Crimes Act grant money.

•Unanimously approved Comcast Franchise Agreement for the period of 10 years at the rate of 5 percent.

•Unanimously approved Professional Services Agreement to lowest priced, highest scored proposer, Trinity Services Group Inc., for food services at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center in the amount not to exceed $650,000 per year.

•Unanimously approved proposal from Georgia Bridge and Concrete LLC for construction of the Reavis Mountain Road Retaining Wall Construction Project in the amount of $400,000.

•Unanimously approved award to Motorola Solutions Inc. for six two-way radios for use by the Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services organization for a total cost of $39,140.82.

•Unanimously approved awarding Georgia Fire and Rescue Supply the purchase for Holmatro Emergency Extrication tools totaling $171,787.

•Unanimously approved a one-year lease agreement with the Cherokee County School District to lease buses for Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency sponsored trips in an estimated amount $12,000.

•Unanimously approved Intergovernmental Agreement between Cherokee County and the city of Nelson to authorize the Tax Commissioner to bill property owners on behalf of the city of Nelson for ad valorem taxes.

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