MINUTES OF THE OXFORD MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, July 29, 2019 – 6:00 PM
PRESENT: Jerry D. Roseberry,
Mayor; Council members: George Holt; Jim Windham; Jeff Wearing, Sarah Davis.
Not present: Mike Ready and David Eady.
OTHERS PRESENT: Matt
Pepper, City Manager and Connie Middlebrooks, City Clerk. Art and Laurie Vinson
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM by the Hon.
Jerry D. Roseberry, Mayor.
Mayor Roseberry announced the purpose of the public hearing is to review the
proposed change in property taxes. Council intends to adopt a millage rate
which will require an increase in property taxes by 9.36%. Mayor Roseberry
explained that the city is not increasing the millage rate; however, if the
homeowner’s property value has increased, they will pay more in property taxes.
He also informed Council that a few years ago legislation was passed allowing
homeowners to not only file homestead exemption with the county, but also with
the city if they live in the city limits. As a result, the taxes collected by
the city are relativity low. This
tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 6.622 mills, an increase of
0.607 mills. Council is considering a modest increase because the revenue from
the city’s property taxes and electric utilities make up exactly 7% and 30% of
the general fund respectfully. The electric industry is changing, and the city
will start to see a decline in that 30% of revenue. The city should consider
alternatives to ensure that a shortage does not occur.
Mayor Roseberry informed attendees that a copy of the
Five-Year History was available and asked if there were any questions.
Councilmember Holt wanted to clarify that the city will not be increasing the
tax rate, but that if property value has increased those homeowners would pay
more in taxes. Mayor Roseberry reiterated that the millage rate will not go up,
it will stay at 6.622 mills. If the city wanted to keep taxes from increasing, Council
would have to accept the rollback rate, which would be 6.015 mills.
Art Vinson (903 Asbury Street) asked for clarification of
what is a rollback rate. City Manager Matt Pepper explained that accepting the
rollback rate essentially aides the city in maintaining the same level of
revenue collected if no re-assessments have been done. Georgia Law requires each city calculate a
millage rate and a rollback rate that will prevent any increase in property
tax. Then, Council is required to adopt
either the rollback or the millage rate. Mayor Roseberry further explained that
a rollback rate is based on a city not an individual citizen.
In closing, Mayor Roseberry explained that property tax
is not a big revenue producer for the city primarily because our biggest
property owners (Emory / Oxford College, local churches) are tax exempt.
There being no further discussion, Mayor Roseberry
adjourned the public hearing at 6:12 pm.