Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Millage Rates

I teach journalism, but I'm also a bit of a nerd when it comes to statistics, math, and especially public opinion polls. Today let's look at an "explainer" produced by our Newsource students down stairs. You can watch it here for context. Go ahead. It's fast. Then come back. Oh, and I love the clever bit about what's a millage rate? It's not Milledge Avenue. Nice job on that.

OK, done? Good.

At the 1:27 point we get to my point. Here's a screenshot:

So what's the problem? Not the math. The issue is the "If your assessed property value is $100,000 ..."

That's not quite how it works. Here's a nice, simple description, but I'll save you the visit off site and summarize it for you.

1. You have the assessed value of your home. In our example above, $100,000.
2. You then take 40 percent of that value.
3. And then you remove various exemptions, like homestead exemption. Let's say $10,000
4. This gives you the taxable value.

So in the example above, a $100,000 assessed value would become a tax on $30,000. So instead of a $1,913.10 tax bill, you'd see more like a $765.24.

How'd I catch this? I own a home in Clarke County -- with higher taxes than Jackson -- assessed at more than $100k, and I know my tax bill is below $1,913.

So there's commercial value, assessed value, and taxable value.

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