Unlike many metro Atlanta counties, DeKalb County commissioners voted not to raise the millage rate this year – which means if your property taxes are higher, it's through a different municipal body.
The county has seven different tax bases, but the state looks only at the county's general and hospital fund for an average millage rate.
If that millage rate is higher than the rate the state set, the county has to advertise a property tax increase. That's the notice DeKalb residents may have gotten in the mail.
Jay Vinicki, DeKalb's director of the office of management and budget, said the reason the millage rate isn't actually going up is because the total of all the tax bases equals the same amount as last year.
"The highest tax rate that you could get – what we call the benchmark rate – is 20.81, and that will remain the same in 2017 just as it was in 2016," Vinicki said. "So your average homeowner sees no difference."
DeKalb Commissioner Jeff Rader said the county didn't need to raise the millage rate because the county will take in more revenue through an expanded tax base. Simply put, the seller's real estate market is driving property values up without homeowners making improvements.
"People want houses," Rader said. "You know there's been a lot of coverage how there aren't very many houses for sale. And there's people that want to move to Atlanta will want to buy a house in a neighborhood, they may be willing to pay more."
Cobb and Gwinnett counties plan to have an uptick in this year's millage rate but are waiting for a final vote.