Analyzing Double Taxation

In order to determine if double taxation exists or to what extent it exists in your community, it is desirable that you have a copy of your county’s audit or budget. County budget and financial documents may be obtained through the Tax and Expenditure Data Center (TED) website maintained by the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

Please adhere to the following rules:
  • Deal only with specific services which can be classified as either duplicated or jointly financed.
  • Analyze only that portion of services financed by county general property taxes.
Refer to Appendix I of this publication for an example of the complete process. Appendices III and IV contain worksheets in order to determine if and to what extent double taxation exists in your community.

Step I - Identify Duplicated and Jointly Financed Services

List all services provided by your county that are also provided by your city. Then list all services jointly financed by the city and county.

Step II - Identify County General Fund Revenues, Property Tax Revenues, Property Tax Ratio and County General Millage Rate

A) County General Fund Revenues
This includes all general fund revenues (general property taxes and any other taxes, revenues, or transfers) not legally earmarked for special purposes.

Note: To obtain County General Fund Revenues, subtract those revenues legally restricted to one purpose or not collected from residents living within a municipality.

Subtract: school taxes, bond taxes, special fees and charges used to support specific facilities or services (garbage fee used for support of garbage collection service, etc.), federal and state grants for limited purposes (community development block grants (CDBG), EPA grants, etc.), and any other revenues legally restricted to only one specific purpose.

B) County Property Tax Revenues
This includes taxes levied on the net digest which includes real and personal property, vehicles, mobile homes, timber and heavy equipment. Do not include property taxes for schools or bonds.

C) Property Tax Ratio
This may be obtained by dividing county general fund revenues into county property tax revenues, or written as a formula: County Property Tax Revenues/County General Fund Revenues = Property Tax Ratio. This figure indicates the portion of county general fund revenues that comes from property taxes.
D) County General Millage Rate
General fund levy only; do not include millage for school or bond taxes. For counties which use a different millage rate for the county incorporated versus the county unincorporated, you will use the county incorporated millage rate. Millage rate data may be obtained on the Georgia Department of Revenue website.  

Step III - Determine Total General Fund Expenditures for Each Duplicated and Jointly Financed Service

Using your list obtained in Step I and your county’s budget or audit, determine county general fund expenditures for each duplicated and jointly financed service. Include only that portion of such expenditures obtained from general fund revenues as defined in Step II, part A. Exclude expenditures derived from non-general fund revenues such as user fees, state and federal special purpose grants, etc. If this information cannot be obtained, use the Alternate Method as explained in Appendix II.

Step IV - Determine Property Tax Expenditures for Each Duplicated and Jointly Financed Service

This may be obtained by multiplying the property tax ratio obtained in Step II, part C, times total general fund expenditures for each duplicated and jointly financed service as obtained in Step III.

This will give you the total county property tax revenues spent on duplicated and jointly financed services.

Step V - Compute County Property Tax Millage Reduction for County Residents Living Within Your City

The millage inequity may be obtained by dividing county property tax revenues, Step II, part B, into total property tax expenditures for all duplicated and jointly financed services (Step IV) and multiplying the result by the county general property tax millage rate.

Example: County general millage rate is 20 mills, total property tax expenditures for all duplicated and jointly financed services are $700,000 and county property tax revenues are $2,100,000.
Property Tax Ratio

Reduction in County Millage Rate for County Residents Living in the City
6.6660 mills is the amount of double taxation.

County Millage Rate Adjusted for Double Taxation

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