Millage Rate Increase Limitations for FY 2020
The U.S. Census Bureau has released the county population estimates from the past fiscal year, one of the two components that make up the millage rate increase limitation prescribed in §6-1-320(A)(1):
...a local governing body may increase the millage rate imposed for general operating purposes above the rate imposed for such purposes for the preceding tax year only to the extent of the increase in the average of the twelve monthly consumer price indices for the most recent 12-month period ... of the preceding calendar year, plus ... the percentage increase in the previous year in the population of the entity as determined by the Office of Research and Statistics of the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office. If the average of the 12 monthly consumer price indices experiences a negative percentage, the average is deemed to be zero. If an entity experiences a reduction in population, the percentage change in population is deemed to be zero. However, in the year in which a reassessment program is implemented, the rollback millage, as calculated pursuant to Section 12-37-251(E), must be used in lieu of the previous year's millage rate.
(2) There may be added to the operating millage increase allowed pursuant to item (1) of this subsection any such increase, allowed but not previously imposed, for the three property tax years preceding the year to which the current limit applies.
The CPI is 2.44% for FY 2020. Therefore, the millage rate increase limitation will be the total of the percentage increase in your county’s population estimate from 2017 to 2018 PLUS the 2.44% CPI (see chart). Please note that for purposes of the millage cap, if your population DECREASED, you are deemed to have "zero" population growth.
There is also a chart showing the millage increase limitations for your county from FY 2017 to FY 2020. Please note that you can only use any UNUSED capacity from these years. SCAC does not know what unused capacity your county may have.
Section 6-1-320(B) provides that the millage rate limitation may only be suspended and the millage rate increased upon a two-thirds vote of the county governing body and ONLY for the following purposes:
(1) the deficiency of the preceding year;
(2) any catastrophic event;
(3) compliance with a court order or decree;
(4) taxpayer closure outside the control of the governing body that decreases by 10% or more the amount of revenue payable to the taxing jurisdiction in the preceding year;
(5) compliance with a regulation or law enacted by the federal or state government for which no funding is provided;
(6) purchase of undeveloped real property near an operating U.S. military base that has been identified as suitable for residential development; or
(7) to purchase capital equipment and make expenditures related to such in a county having a population of less than 100,000 and having at least 40,000 acres of state or national forest land.
The millage rate limitation does not affect millage that is levied to pay bonded indebtedness or payments for real property purchased using a lease-purchase agreement or used to maintain a reserve account. It also does not affect millage imposed to pay bonded indebtedness or operating expenses of a special tax district as prescribed in Section 4-9-30(5).
If you have any questions, please call Anna Berger or Susan Turkopuls at 1-800-922-6081.