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DeKalb may raise taxes on cities

All of DeKalb County residents who live in cities would see the county portion of their property taxes increase next year, according to Interim CEO Lee May's proposed budget.

Meanwhile, the tax rate for unincorporated DeKalb would remain unchanged.

The cities' tax rates have fluctuated in recent years, and all of the cities received a tax cut this year.

Between 2013 and 2015, county taxes paid by city residents have risen slightly.

"If you want to keep your overall millage rate flat, you have to make other adjustments," May said last week.

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About 200,000 of DeKalb's 700,000 residents live in cities.

City provide various services through their tax collections, but county taxes cover libraries, courts, jails, the sheriff's department, elections, water and sewer. Some services, like police, are covered by either the county or cities depending on the jurisdiction.

May's recommended $1.13 billion budget for 2015 is almost exactly the same size as the 2014 budget.

The DeKalb Commission will vote on the budget and tax rates by the end of February.

DeKalb millage rates, excluding city taxes
City Proposed 2015 rate % Change 2014 to 2015 % Change 2013 to 2015
Atlanta 12.1 34% 5.1%
Avondale 16.05 25.5% -9.2%
Brookhaven 15.52 14.4% -4.5%
Chamblee 15.62 26.4% 5.8%
Clarkston 17.89 22.3% 4.4%
Decatur 12.65 32% 5.2%
Doraville 15.43 26.8% 6.3%
Dunwoody 15.52 14.4% -4.5%
Lithonia 18.21 21.8% 4.7%
Pine Lake 18.64 21.2% 4.5%
Stone Mountain 15.87 25.9% 5.7%
Unincorporated 21.21 0% 0%

About the Author

Mark Niesse covers Georgia government.

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