Lilburn to remove millage rate cap, increase homestead exemption

Following a recent public hearing, Lilburn’s Mayor and City Council voted to approve a city charter amendment that will remove the city’s millage rate cap and increase the city’s homestead exemption from $5,000 to $10,000.

The city is taking advantage of the state’s Home Rule Act of 1965 which permits the amendment of a city’s charter by ordinance without the necessity of action by the legislature.

Lilburn’s financial advisor recommended removal of the cap provision because the cap prohibits the city’s ability to sell revenue bonds since lenders avoid lending to entities with annual debt payment capacity limited to 0.57 mill. City documents also state that if or when Lilburn needs to borrow funds, interest rates will be lower by 1% or more without a millage cap and the city’s credit rating will increase when revenue bonds are issued and annual debt service paid ontime.

Increasing the city’s homestead exemption from $5,000 to $10,000 comes in recognition of housing reassessments that significantly increased property values from 2021 to 2022. By increasing the homestead exemption the city will effectively reduce the tax burden on homeowners.

Charter amendments are not effective until documents are filed with the Secretary of State’s office.