The city approved a millage rate of 9.9 following a public hearing Thursday, leaving the rate the same as last year despite and small dip in the property values.
"I will tell you we budgeted very conservatively and had anticipated about a 5 percent decrease in the assessment (digest), but it actually came in much better with only a .5 percent decrease," City Manager Tony Lucas said Thursday. "We are running very lean."
The city's fiscal year 2013 budget totals about $12.9 million.
According to the 2012 net digest, the value of property within the city declined by $2.8 million from 2011 to a $575 million total for the net digest. Facing an anticipated revenue decrease of almost $700,000 when the July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013 budget was adopted in May, city officials made expenditure cuts in nearly every department, froze the annual 5 percent performance increase for city employees this year and froze hiring for open positions at least until property taxes start rolling in.
The Rockdale School Board voted unanimously to keep the millage rate at 24.5, the same as last year, at a called meeting Thursday. The vote was 5-0, with members Katrina Young and Brad Smith not present.
This means the school system will collect $2,621,000 or 4.6 percent less than last year, according to RCPS Chief Financial Officer Lee Davis, since the overall value of taxable property has gone down. However, that drop was slightly less than originally estimated.
The school system built the $124.8 million budget for 2012-2013 with an estimated 8 percent net digest drop but saw a 4.6 percent drop instead.
The rate that would have allowed the school system to collect the same amount as last year is 25.57 mills.
Rockdale County is one of the few school systems with an exemption from the statewide cap of 20 mills. Rockdale's rate been more than 20 mills since 1990.
About 48 percent of the school system's budget comes from local funding. The other half comes from the state.
The county Board of Commissioners will vote to set the millage rate on Sept. 4, 6 p.m., JP Carr Center, 981 Taylor Street, at the same as last year's rate, 16.91 mills, or less.