Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Ringgold is rolling back the city millage rate from the previous 2.707 mils to 2.680 mils following a unanimous vote by City Council.
“The rollback is computed to keep in mind the increase in property value,” said City Manager Dan Wright. “So in order for someone to pay the same or less tax you have to roll back the tax millage rate to offset the increase in tax value. The [new] millage rate will be used for the 2012 property taxes that will be collected by Dec. 20, 2012.”
Wright said Mayor Joe Barger and council members are concerned about the economic hardship that many citizens are having.
“The city has a very strong industrial and commercial tax base which assist in keeping the millage rate very low for the services that our provided,” said Wright. “With the work and expenses still continuing on cleanup and repairs following the April 2011 tornado, I think it is great to be able to roll back property taxes. From the mayor and council all the way down to the newest employee, you will see the use of innovation, technology and good common-sense approaches to projects, saving tax dollars.”
Ringgold Mayor Joe Barger said the city took into consideration Catoosa County’s property tax appraisal.
“The percent they increase, we lower the city’s millage rate to reflect,” said Barger. “We are within a $1,000 difference. It’s keeping the taxes the same. If you paid $200 in property taxes last year, you will pay $200 in property taxes this year. We are lowering the millage rate to reflect the same tax collected as last year. I think it’s very important to keep the tax rate as low as we can for residents and for businesses coming in.”
Barger said he is committed to continue watching what the city spends.
“There’s many ways we are saving taxpayers’ money,” he said, adding that the city is maintaining its employee base without adding new personnel. “It’s better to keep it on the low side than to have layoffs.”
Ringgold Council members said they are equally pleased that the city is able to lower property taxes to help residents.
“Any time you’re able to do something like that it’s a no-brainer,” said Councilman Nick Millwood. “It was an easy decision.”
Councilman G. Larry Black said the city has not raised property tax rates in a number of years.
“We came down a little bit, not a lot, but a little is better than none,” said Black. “We would not have gained much by keeping it the same. There’s very little difference. Taking the rollback is the logical thing to do. The lowest we can keep the rate is the goal.”