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September 29, 2012

City fire tax extinguished

THOMASVILLE — While other local governing bodies recently raised the ire of landowners with proposed property tax increases or actual hikes, Thomasville City Council members have approved setting the 2012 city fire tax millage rate at 0.0 mills.

In 2009, the Council set a goal to eliminate the property fire tax by 2012. At that time, the city collected more than $1.7 million in fire taxes.

The fire tax levy was reduced to about $995,000 in 2010, to about $610,000 in 2011 — and to $0 in 2012.

“The city council is very pleased that we’ve been able to meet the goal of eliminating the fire tax for the City of Thomasville’s property owners,” said Thomasville Mayor Max Beverly. “The city is in an enviable position when compared to other communities, because we have the ability to fund many of our general government operations from utilities revenues.”

Beverly said that without the city’s enterprise funds, such as electric and CNS, the zero-millage goal could not have been met.

Margins above the cost to deliver services generated from city-owned utilities — electric, water, wastewater, natural gas, solid waste and CNS services — are transferred into the general fund to provide funding for police and fire protection, street maintenance and other essential governmental services.

In 2012, the city has budgeted utilities transfers of about $7.8 million to the general fund.

See Sunday's edition for more details.

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