Forsyth Property Taxes

Forsyth HOA & Homeowners

About Your Forsyth County Property Tax Increase
From: Your Forsyth HOA & Homeowners Team

The Myth of Low Property Taxes in Forsyth County...

Perhaps you have read the news articles and heard some elected officials bragging about our county's low tax millage rate. In fact, Forsyth's "low" millage rate has been used as a marketing tool to entice people to move to Forsyth County. But here's the truth: The millage rate is only one factor used to determine your total property taxes. There is bond debt on you property tax bill too. As we have told you before, the millage rate is artificially low because we, the taxpayers are paying for infrastructure funding with bond debt. Out of control growth has caused our low taxes to evaporate before our eyes. Why? Developers have paid very few new development impact fees for many years, sticking us with the infrastructure bill to fund new roads and schools. In fact, there are no impact fees collected for schools at all. We are subsidizing the development industry with OUR tax dollars.

Bonds are just tax increases by another name. They are a separate line item on your tax bill, and you still must pay them.

While Forsyth County’s BOE raised the millage rate to compensate for the new development that is not paying for itself, Fulton County was lowering property taxes, and increasing their homestead exemption. The millage rate for Forsyth County Schools and School bonds has now surpassed Fulton County! The out of control growth is wreaking havoc on our school system's planning and funding.

Between increased school taxes, school bonds, and County bonds, Forsyth County’s property tax on a 300k home has risen over 11% in just 5 short years. This does not account for any increase in Fair Market Value (which has also risen for most homeowners), and the number may increase again next year as the full weight of the transportation bond is felt. We have only borrowed half of the transportation money, so the bond number, and your taxes, will likely increase again in 2016.

To illustrate the Low Tax Myth being perpetuated by our Commissioners, let’s look at bottom line tax numbers, which is the only number that truly matters. The difference between the taxes on a $300k home in Forsyth County and Fulton County is fairly negligible (about 12% and less than $35 a month). The difference between Forsyth and Cherokee is only 5%, and Forsyth is higher than Dawson. See the chart below:

hoa chart

Sadly, this will get worse before it gets better as more bond money is coming in the next 12 months. As we stated above, the trend in Forsyth County is toward higher and higher taxes as elected officials dump the cost for rampant development on the homeowners. In fact, it’s entirely possible that next year a $300K home in Forsyth County will pay MORE in taxes than Dawson, Cherokee AND Fulton County.

Remember this the next time an Elected Official shows a fancy chart talking about how low our millage rate is. They are either intentionally misleading you or woefully uninformed, and neither is acceptable.

Interesting Fact:
Did you know the Fulton County Homestead exemption is about 4X higher than Forsyth County? (Forsyth: $8,000, Fulton: $30,000) Homestead exemptions drive down taxes, and Forsyth County’s is laughably low. This is another example of why just a straight millage rate comparison in inadequate.

Want to Know More? Here's an article from the Sharon Springs Alliance.
Excerpt: Friday, all over Forsyth County, the Citizens and Taxpayers were greeted with a shock: Their taxes went up...waaaaay up. The County raised assessed values and tax rates for homeowners, in some cases by as much as 50%! The County padded its coffers by nearly $35,000,000 and increased the total tax burden on the Citizens by nearly 15%.

The County got 15% richer Friday. Are you 15% richer today? Are you happy about turning over your hard earned money?

Well, what can we do about it?
Email your elected officials and respectfully let them know what you think about the rate of development and subsequent increased taxes in Forsyth County:

Forsyth County Board of Education: Responsible for about 70% of your tax bill, and increased the Millage Rate this year:
Ann Crow: ACrow@forsyth.k12.ga.us
Darla Light: dlight@forsyth.k12.ga.us
Tom Cleveland: TCleveland@forsyth.k12.ga.us
Nancy Roche: NRoche@forsyth.k12.ga.us
Kristin Morrisey: kmorrissey@forsyth.k12.ga.us

Forsyth County Board of Commissioners: Responsible for new zonings and County Millage Rate: commissioners@forsythco.com

Pete Amos, Cindy Mills, Brian Tam, Todd Levent, and Jim Boff

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