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story.lead_photo.caption The Garland County Court House. - File photo by The Sentinel-Record

The 2019 millage rates the Garland County Quorum Court ratified last week included a rollback for the rate the city of Mountain Pine assesses for its general fund.

The 5 mills will drop to 4.9 on tax bills the county will send out in February, the result of the total value of real and personal property inside the city's corporate limits increasing by more than 10% from the 2018 to 2019 tax years. The state tax code calls for a rollback when a tax base's total value increases by more than 10%.

"That's a really good thing," County Judge Darryl Mahoney told the quorum court. "The property values are increasing. This is the first (rollback) that's been done in quite some time, but it may be a sign of things to come for Garland County."

Information provided by the county showed the city's tax base increased 11.51%, or $273,706, in taxable assessed value. Total taxable assessed value for the corporate limits was $2,652,233.

Assessed value is 20% of market value. Some properties are not taxed at their full assessed value for various reasons, including being occupied by an owner who is disabled or 65 or older. Amendment 79 to the state Constitution froze the assessed value of properties owned and occupied by the disabled or seniors.

It also limited annual increases in assessed value of owner-occupied properties to 5%, meaning a property that increased by more than 25% percent following the five-year reappraisal cycle wouldn't be taxed at its full assessed value when the subsequent cycle ended.

Arkansas CAMA Technology, the appraisal firm contracted by the county, said Mountain Pine had close to $1 million in new construction that was assessed this year. Most of the growth was attributed to the plant Morfe Windows LLC built, Arkansas CAMA said.

Morfe relocated the plant, which supplies windows for the company's retailer, WinChoice USA, from its Mill Creek Road headquarters in 2018, building it on the 389-acre industrial park it purchased from Weyerhaeuser. Arkansas CAMA said the new plant was completed in 2018 but not assessed until this year.

Mountain Pine's millage raises about $7,200 a year for its general fund, according to information provided by the county tax collector's office.

The city of Hot Springs doesn't levy a millage, but information provided by the county showed the total taxable assessed value of real and personal property inside its corporate limits increased 8.87% to $832,777,476 from 2018 to 2019. Fountain Lake's tax base decreased 0.62% in taxable assessed value to $5,422,429. Lonsdale's increased 5.43% to $647,151.

Mountain Pine and Lonsdale are the county's only incorporated areas that levy millages. The 1.6 mills the latter levies for its general fund raises about $560 a year. Cities and counties can levy up to 5 mills for their general funds. Garland County levies 1.2 mills for its general fund, but the proceeds, typically close to $2 million, are transferred to the county road fund.

Lakeside School District's tax base had the largest percentage increase of any county school district, growing 2.73% to $499,597,611 in taxable assessed value. Lake Hamilton increased 2.23% to $454,848,883, and Hot Springs increased 1.96% to $642,452,977.

Mountain Pine is the only taxing entity in the county with an adjusted 2019 millage rate. Rates are applied to a property's taxable assessed value. The quorum court adopted the following 2019 millage rates:

Garland County

General fund 1.2 mills

Library fund 1.6 mills

National Park College 0.8 mills

Cities

Mountain Pine 4.9 mills

Lonsdale 1.6 mills

School districts

Jessieville 38.70 mills

Lake Hamilton 40.60 mills

Benton 41.90 mills

Magnet Cove 47.78 mills

Mount Ida 34 mills

Centerpoint 41 mills

Lakeside 41.70 mills

Cutter Morning Star 48.90 mills

Mountain Pine 39.90 mills

Hot Springs 42.10 mills

Fountain Lake 34.80 mills

Local on 12/02/2019

Print Headline: Quorum court adopts millage rollback for Mountain Pine

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