The county’s basis for the different rates involves collection of special taxes on life insurance premiums, which unincorporated residents pay to the county.
The county argued Tuesday that state law requires unincorporated residents be reimbursed for the difference.
When Hamil indicated he was inclined to overrule a two-tiered millage rate, chief assistant county attorney Van Stephens said the county would offer up a compromise to find common ground with the cities.
After an hour of deliberations between Stephens and the dozen or so attorneys in the courtroom representing the cities, the county agreed to apply a uniform rate of 11.19 mills.
But Hamil balked at the proposal, saying he was concerned about setting a rate higher than the 2008 rate of 10.97 mills. Before he issues a temporary collection order, he said, he wants the county to formally recommend the rate, saying that is the appropriate jurisdiction for setting mill levies.
County tax notices usually are mailed out by mid-July, and the delay has left many local governments in a bind. Gwinnett school officials have said they may have to draw on their reserves or borrow money if tax revenues are delayed much longer.
A temporary collection order allows local governments to bill property taxes without an approved tax digest from the state revenue commissioner. The state has not certified Gwinnett’s tax digest primarily because the county has not set a formal millage rate.