In February 2019, the Commission approved a new Code Section sponsored by Commissioner Joe Allen that is called the Macon-Bibb County Community Redevelopment Tax Incentive Program. This new program would allow property owners to reduce their millage rate by 50% for up to four years if they repair and upgrade the property, or one year for every $25,000 spent on improvements. If no remediation plan is approved or no work is done, the property could have their millage rate increased by seven times beginning this year.
On Friday, August 30, about 275 letters are being sent to property owners maintaining a blighted property notifying them of the increase and how they can keep that from happening and reduce the rate. The properties have been identified by the Code Enforcement Division of the Business Development Services Department, and this is only the first batch of letters to be distributed. Code Enforcement Officers are continuing to work on identifying additional properties that might be covered by this program.
These letters will let the owners:
- know of the program,
- provide them a copy of the inspection report that led to the property being designated as blighted,
- the consequences of the increased millage rate,
- how to request a hearing about the property
- a form to request the hearing,
- know they cannot sell, transfer, mortgage, lease, or otherwise dispose of the property until the issues have been resolved or they have provided true notification to the recipient, and
- how to get the higher tax rate lowered.
The increased tax is another effort by Macon-Bibb County to attack blight in neighborhoods.
Another effort includes the Tax Commissioner auctioning off blighted properties on September 3 at the Macon State Farmers’ Market. There, properties that have previously gone unsold will go up for bid beginning at $400 to registered bidders. Call 478-621-6500 or go to www.maconbibbtax.us for more information and to learn how to register.
Additionally, Macon-Bibb is nearing completion of its first Blight Remediation Program, which is using $14 million to buy and demolish dilapidated properties, expand and improve parks and greenspaces, make infrastructure improvements, and more.