Houses in the Greenridge subdivison in DeKalb County. (Kimberly Smith/staff)
Photo: KIMBERLY SMITH
Photo: KIMBERLY SMITH

Here’s how your property taxes in DeKalb could change this year

This article has been updated to correct the tax rate approved by the DeKalb County school system.

Property tax rates are either staying the same or decreasing for residents of DeKalb County, although homeowners may still have to pay more compared to last year because of rising property values.

The DeKalb County commission is expected to keep the county’s tax rate flat for residents of Stonecrest and unincorporated areas and slightly decrease it for residents of 12 other cities. That is a reversal from 2018, when the county increased tax rates for most cities

The municipalities also set their own tax rates on top of the county’s, in order to pay for services provided by each city.

Tax bills paid by homeowners are a combination of city, county and school taxes.

“The county is committed to delivering high-quality services while providing substantial property tax reductions for the second consecutive year,” DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond said in a news release.

The DeKalb County commission is expected to approve 2019 property tax rates on Tuesday after a public hearing. The DeKalb County school board initially proposed leaving its tax rate unchanged from the previous year but ultimately approved a small reduction. 

Decatur City Schools are considering an increase in its tax rate.

Related | Decatur school system may raise millage for first time in four years

Property taxes are charged based on a “millage rate,” which is the amount per $1,000 of property value that is used to calculate taxes.

If the proposed rate is approved in DeKalb, residents of unincorporated DeKalb and Stonecrest would pay 20.81 mills. Under that rate, a house in unincorporated DeKalb with a taxable value of $100,000 would pay $2,081 in county taxes plus taxes levied by schools.

Residents of the remaining cities pay varying county taxes based on the services received from DeKalb.

Homeowners who live in cities pay taxes set by three different government agencies: the county, city and local school district. For example, a home valued at $100,000 in Brookhaven would pay $1,361 in county taxes, $2,318 in school taxes and an additional $274 for city taxes.

In recent weeks, DeKalb’s cities released their proposed tax rates for next year. Some have already been approved, while others are in the process of going through public hearings. Several cities also have homestead exemptions, for people who own the home they live in. 

Scroll down to see an interactive chart that shows the total property tax rate for each DeKalb city.

  • Atlanta: 7.85 mills, approved June 17. Unchanged from the 2018 rate.
  • Avondale Estates: 9.8 mills was the proposed rate. Unchanged from the 2018 rate. A public hearing was held July 1. 
  • Brookhaven: 2.74 mills, approved June 25. Unchanged from 2018.
  • Chamblee:6.25 mills, approved June 27. Unchanged from 2018.
  • Clarkston: 15.89 mills, approved July 2. Unchanged from 2018.
  • Decatur: 13.92 mills, approved June 17. The commission voted to increase the tax rate from 13.62 mills last year. It’s also important to note that since Decatur runs its own schools, the school board imposes its own property taxes. The school board has proposed raising the tax rate for the first time in four years, from 18.66 to 20.25 mills. A public hearing and vote is set for July 16 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Doraville: 10 mills, approved June 17. Unchanged from 2018.
  • Dunwoody: proposed 2.74 mills, a rate that is unchanged since Dunwoody became a city in 2008. There is a public hearing scheduled for July 8.
  • Lithonia: 11.968 mills, approved July 1. It’s an increase from last year’s rate of 11.116 mills.
  • Pine Lake: 21.53 mills, approved June 25. This is a decrease from 2018’s rate of 22 mills.
  • Stonecrest: 0 mills. Since Stonecrest became a city in 2017, it has not imposed a city property tax.
  • Stone Mountain: 21 mills, a decrease from last year’s rate of 22 mills. It was approved July 2.
  • Tucker: 0.9 mills, the first city property tax collected by Tucker since it became a city in 2016. The change was necessary because the city took over managing its parks from DeKalb County, which imposed a 1.458 millage rate on parks, the city said. Officials said for taxpayers, it amounts to an overall decrease in what they pay for parks. “We are taking over taxing authority for the parks from DeKalb County and we’re doing it for less than DeKalb County was charging for,” Mayor Frank Auman said in a statement. “It’s a big step for us in the development of the city.”

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