## Millage Rates 101: Calculating Your Tax Bill

The millage rate calculation is not difficult. Here, step-by-step, is what your elected officials SHOULD do each year, and how you can estimate your own annual property tax bill:

**The Government’s Role**

1. The **taxing authority **must first formulate the budget, identifying all necessary expenditures. The budget process then projects expected non-tax revenue (fees, fines, interest income, franchise fees, etc.).

2. For most cities, counties and school boards, there will be a part of the budget that remains unfunded. That is the part that must be covered by **your property taxes**. It’s a revenue line item in the budget– we’ll call it [A].

3. Your **Tax AssessorÂ **values all property in the county for tax purposes. The total value BEFORE any exemptions is called the **Gross Tax Digest**. The Tax Commissioner, charged with collecting the taxes,Â then deducts from that number the value of any property completely exempt from property taxes, as well as the value of any other exemptions or deductions (homestead, senior, conservation use, etc.). The value that remains is called the **Net Tax Digest**. We’ll call it [B].

4. At this point, the **calculation of the millage **rate is very simple. [A] is divided by [B]. The result is the amount of tax, in dollars, on every dollar of taxable value (the Net Tax Digest). Multiply the result of “[A]/[B]” by 1,000 and you have…

5. …the **MILLAGE RATE**, which is the amount of tax, in dollars, on every $1,000 of taxable value [B] that is required to satisfy [A], the part of the budget to be funded by tax dollars.

When a taxing authority “does the math,” it collects no MORE and no LESS than required to fully fund the part of the budget to be covered by tax dollars.

**Estimating Your Tax Bill**

1. Find the **assessed value **of your property. It was on the notice that you received at the first of the year. For our example, let’s assume it is $200,000.

2. In Georgia, you are taxed on **40% of that value **which, in our example, is $80,000 (200,000 times .40).

3. From that amount, you deduct any **applicable exemptions **(homestead, senior school, etc.). For our example, we’ll say that your total exemptions total $10,000.

4. Your taxable value is $70,000 or “70 thousands.” For our example, let’s say that the county adopted a millage rate of 14.000.

5. Multiply your taxable value in thousands (70) by the millage rate. 70 times 14.0 equals 980; in other words, your county property tax equals $980.

(You could also divide the millage rate by 1,000, then multiply your taxable value by it to get the same results– .0140 times 70,000)

6. In reality, your tax bill is made up of **several different millage rates**. The state charges .25 mills; you may have a city rate, a school millage, a fire district millage, etc. You will have to do the calculation for each millage, then add the totals to determine your tax bill.

It would actually be $9,800. (70,000 multiplied by .14 instead of .014.)

Jerry, the millage adopted and published by a Georgia taxing authority represents the amount of tax on every THOUSAND dollars of taxable value. In this example, the adopted rate of 14.000 is multiplied by 70, the “number of thousands” in the taxable value.

Another way to calculate it is to use the raw millage number and apply it to each dollar of taxable value. In this example, the raw millage rate is .014 . An easy way to convert from the published millage to the raw millage is to simply move the decimal point to the left THREE spaces (representing the three zeros in 1,000). You would then multiply EACH DOLLAR of taxable value by the raw millage (70,000 times .014).

The answer is the same. For another explanation of the calculation from a different angle, check out the link at the top of this page, “Millage Explained.”

Great explanation. Easy to understand.