Public Hearing Dates for Tax Rate Input Scheduled

Public Hearings have been scheduled by City Council to seek citizen input into setting of the tax rate for the year 2018.

Under Georgia law, whenever property values in the city as a whole increase, or the tax rate, known as millage rate, increases, the City Council must hold at least three public hearings to explain the property tax change.

The total City budget is $12.8 million for the 2018 fiscal year. A millage rate is being considered that would provide $1.45 million from property taxes.  A stable property tax income is necessary in order to continue to provide essential city services such as police, fire, and street maintenance.  The balance of revenues comes from local option sales tax, utility fees, permits and licenses.

Mayor and City Council are considering a tax rate of 7.900 mills or $0.007900.  This is an increase of 0% from the current rate of $0.00790.

Assessed property values in the city limits of Social Circle increased 2.09% on average this year.  The roll back tax rate would be 7.738 mills or $0.007738 which would eliminate the effect of any increase in property value. In addition, property tax revenues will increase due to new construction and industries whose incentive property tax abatement has expired, such that they are paying property taxes on more of the value of their property.

The millage rate is applied to 40% of the assessed value of the property. For example, the proposed tax for a home with a fair market value of $100,000 is approximately $316.00 at a rate of 7.9 mills as compared to $309.52 at the rollback rate of 7.738 mills resulting in an increase of approximately $6.48.

Three public hearings have been scheduled on the proposal of a 7.9 mill property tax rate.   Public Hearing dates and times are:

June 12, 2018                           Noon                Social Circle Community Room

June 12, 2018                           6:00 p.m.          Social Circle Community Room

June 19, 2018                           6:30 p.m.          Social Circle Community Room

The Social Circle community room is located at 138 East Hightower Trail, Social Circle, GA

You may view the current proposed City Budget here.

Suspicious Person Reported

On Friday, May 11, 2018, at approximately 3:10 p.m. the Social Circle Police Department responded to a report of a suspicious person that was near the Social Circle Library.  When officers arrived they spoke with the 11 year old juvenile and mother about the incident. The juvenile stated that she was walking to the library from the Social Circle Elementary school when an older model grey vehicle pulled off the side of the road. The juvenile stated that an older white male rolled the window down and asked if she needed a ride. The juvenile stated that she got scared and ran to the Social Circle Library and called her mother. Her mother then called for our assistance.
The man and vehicle were described as:
  • Older White Male
  • Tattoo on the lower right side of his neck (possible rose or gun black in color)
  • Older model four-door vehicle
  • Rear door windows were tinted
“We have been and will continue to provide extra patrol the area during dismissal hours. We encourage everyone to report any and all suspicious activity by calling 911,” says Chief Oliver.

Proposed 2018-2019 Budget Available for Viewing

The Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 is available for viewing online and at City Hall.

Proposed Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Budget

Public comment on the proposed budget document will be received by City Council at the May 15th council meeting. There will also be a public hearing opportunity at the June 19 council meeting.

A video of the budget presentation at the May 15 Council meetings will be available on our Facebook page and web site.

 

Utility Billing Update: Update Your Account Number

This month’s utility bills have the final format under the new system. Please note that under the new system, your billing account number has changed. If you have bill pay set up with your bank, please update your account to reflect the new account number to ensure there are no issues with processing your payment. The new account will have this format: xxx-xxxxx-xx . The old format was xxxxx-xxxxx.

If you have any questions, please call City Hall, 770-464-2380.

Please Get a Permit If …

Lawn mowerSpring has sprung in Social Circle and residents are working on their yards. We appreciate all the hard work that goes into making our town look good. If your spring sprucing up includes adding storage buildings, fences, or additions to your house, you will need to get a permit for the work.

To find out what permits are needed, please contact Barbara Schlageter, bschlageter@socialcirclega.com, 770-464-6905.

Sign Up for Walton County Citizen Alert Notifications

Walton County has launched a mass notification service that will alert you to potential safety hazards or concerns, such as severe weather, tornadoes, unexpected road closures, missing persons and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods. You can choose which alerts you want to receive and whether to receive alerts via calls to your home, mobile or business phones, or messages by email address or text messages. There is no charge for this service and you can opt out at any time. To sign up, go to http://www.waltoncountyga.gov, scroll down and click on the EVERBRIDGE logo in the Quick links box.

Library Renovation Coming to Social Circle Starting this Summer

The Georgia State Assembly approved funds that will allow the W. H. Stanton Memorial Library expansion project to move forward. The City’s SPLOST funds from 2012-2018 totaling $500,000 along with the approved state funding have made this project possible. We are grateful to Representative Bruce Williamson, Senator Burt Jones, and Governor Deal for their support. The City is also grateful for the assistance of library Board Members, the Mayor and City Council, and active community residents including Wayne McMillan, Dr. Allen, and many others.

Images of the proposed library expansion


IRS Phone Call Scam Reports on the Rise

It’s tax season and scammers are continuing to prey on people’s fear of the IRS and paying taxes. Citizens are reporting calls coming from Lake Charles, LA from the phone number 337-516-0542 claiming to be with the IRS and demanding payment for taxes that are owed and threatening to send the local police department to arrest them if they don’t.

If you receive a call like this, just hang up.

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

For taxpayers who don’t owe taxes or don’t think they do:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. Alternatively, call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

For those who owe taxes or think they do:

  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help.

Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time. For more, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov. 

How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door