City of West Point rolls back millage rate

Published 6:37 am Wednesday, August 12, 2020

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During a teleconference meeting Monday, the West Point City Council passed a rollback of the millage rate after a brief, and somewhat confusing discussion about a possible amended motion from Councilwoman DeeDee Williams.

The approved millage rate is 8.971, a reduction from the previous rate of 9.181. The lowered millage rate will result in reduced property taxes and an increase of $424,673 in revenue for the city. If the city had not approved the rollback, property taxes would have increased by 2.34 percent based on exemptions and reassessments. 

Williams wanted to lower the millage rate even further, reducing property taxes on the community due to the pandemic. She never actually called for an amended motion, though Mayor Steve Tramell thought she did at one point and began asking if anyone would second the motion.

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“Are you asking to amend the motion?” Tramell said.

Williams said she wanted the record to show that she had proposed using some of the city’s revenue from the new millage rate to reduce the tax burden on citizens. 

“I will put it in the form of an amended motion,” Williams said. “But, basically I want the record to show that my recommendation is for $300,000 to be retained by the city because we are dealing with the pandemic, and there are some uncertainties and $224,673 to be shared with the taxpayers of the city of West Point,” Williams said.

Williams’ never asked for her proposal to come up for a vote, and a vote was held on the original millage rate discussion. The millage rate of 8.971 passed 4-1, with Williams being the only opposing vote.

Also in the meeting, the council also approved a vehicle donation from Kia Manufacturing Georgia. The donation is for a term of two years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. KMMG has the option to extend the donation period and the vehicles are donated for the purpose of quality evaluations. According to KMMG, the vehicles donated will be five quality-controlled Kia Optimas.

In other business, the council approved several board appointments.

Appointments include Diane Davidson and Don Cleveland to three-year terms with the board of adjustments, Elizabeth Lester to a four-year term with the City of West Point Hawkes Library board, Joel Finlay to a four-year term on the City of West Point Planning Board and Tyrone Roberts to a three-year term on the Keep Troup Beautiful board. The council also approved the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia (MGAG) resolution. The benefit MGAG provides to the city is that will allow the city to purchase gas at a lower cost.