Oxford OKs 6.28 rollback millage rate

OXFORD -- The Oxford City Council approved the rollback millage rate at a called meeting on Monday night, upping the rate about 1 mill.

Councilman George Holt said the 2009 millage rate was 5.51, but property values have been reduced this year due to reassessments and the slowing economy. As a result, the rollback rate -- the rate at which the entity would collect the same amount of taxes as it did the current year -- was determined to be 6.28.

The council unanimously voted to accept the rollback rate on Monday night.

The rate is the highest it has been over the past five years, according to the five-year history. In 2005, the rate was 5.58. It was 5.54 in 2006, 5.33 in 2007 and 2008, and 5.51 in 2009.

Oxford Mayor Jerry Roseberry said this year is odd, as most of the time the rollback rate would produce a decreased tax rate, but this year the rate has gone up.

"Our objective (with keeping the rollback rate each year) is to keep revenues from properties neutral," he said.

Roseberry said the rollback would cause a decrease in property tax revenues of about $3,400. He said that is not high enough to make a difference in the city's $3.5 million budget.

"Our income from property taxes is a small part of the budget, only about $100,000," he said.

Roseberry said this year's tax increase mostly affects the next budget year, which runs from January to December, but he doesn't expect any negative results from the decreasing tax digest. They plan to start budgeting their operations and capital budgets in the fall and will determine some long-range planning, he said.

"We are in reasonably good shape," Roseberry said. "Fortunately, the city has managed financial resources well."