Gwinnett County invites public to share input on tax increase

Credit: Rebecca Wright for the Atlanta J

Credit: Rebecca Wright for the Atlanta J

Gwinnett County officials will likely keep the same property tax rate as last year, which will result in a tax increase for homeowners whose property rose in value during the pandemic.

Residents will be able to voice their opinions on the property tax increase at three public hearings at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. The first hearing will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, with subsequent hearings at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on July 19.

Board of Commissioners are set to adopt property tax rates on July 20. The county already approved its annual budget with the assumption that the general fund rate would remain the same.

With a homestead exemption, the annual tax bill for someone who owns a $300,000 home would increase by $10.67 from last year, said Russell Royal, deputy director of the county’s Department of Financial Services. Someone who owns a $425,000 non-homesteaded property would pay $16.49 more, he said.

The estimated value of real property net of exemptions and appeals grew by $1.46 billion from last year, Russell said, totaling $32.7 billion in 2021.

“Gwinnett is seeing the same trends that are occurring in the broader economy with high demand for homes and low inventory,” Russell said in an email. “Additionally, the population of Gwinnett continues to grow.”

The county expects $217.2 million in general fund revenue from taxes on real property by keeping the rate the same, Russell said, nearly a $7.5 million increase from 2020.

The additional funds will be spent on a variety of purposes, Russell said, including public health funding and new positions for elections and transportation.

“From engaging programs for our seniors, to our libraries, our roads and transit system and even how our court system runs — these are just a few services the tax revenue will pay for,” said Gwinnett County Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson in a press release.

Annual property tax bills are based on the assessed value of a home, which is 40% of its fair market value. They’re calculated with so-called “millage rates” set by county government, school boards and cities.

Gwinnett County Public Schools plans to lower its property tax rate. Residents whose properties are reassessed at a higher value will still likely see a tax increase.

The county sets tax rates not only for the general fund but for the police, fire and emergency services, development and code enforcement, recreation and economic development funds. Commissioners will also set these rates on July 20.

Gwinnett County residents in several incorporated areas will pay municipal taxes directly to their cities starting this year.

Only Berkeley Lake, Dacula and Peachtree Corners will use the county’s tax commissioner’s office to collect municipal taxes. Several cities chose to collect their own after the tax commissioner proposed charging a special fee to do it.

Residents can also leave comments for commissioners until 9 p.m. on July 19 on the county’s website.