Ben Hill redo process to increase millage rate

Ben Hill County Commission is holding a public hearing on September 13th. / Jessica Fairley

Ben Hill County Commission is holding public hearings on September 13th and 25th to allow residents to voice their concerns about the proposed millage rate increase.

Several weeks ago Ben Hill County commissioners approved a measure to raise their millage rate from 13.66 to 14.785, but after submitting the tax digest, the Georgia Department of Revenue didn't accept their measure.

"The Department of Revenue was not happy with the advertising the way that it was handled," says Frank Field, Ben Hill County Manager.

Since advertising for public forums leading up to the vote had the wrong date listed, revenue officials are demanding that Ben Hill County give residents another chance to participate in the meetings.

"We're happy to do that. We're moving forward and looking forward to comments from the public," says Frank Field.

Although people have another chance to voice their concerns about the millage rate increase, not many are turning out to the forums. Only one person came to express her views during Thursday night's meeting.

"I just wanted to be sure that they were going to follow up and put in the local newspaper a list of the delinquent taxpayers," says Latrelle Kirkland, Ben Hill County resident.

Kirkland believes this would likely spur some people to pay their debts.

"I have seen a list of the delinquent taxpayers. It goes back to 2005 and there are people on there that I know can pay their taxes," says Latrelle Kirkland.

A final public hearing will be held on September 25th.

After the meeting, commissioners will once again vote on the millage rate increase and resubmit it to the Georgia Department of Revenue.

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