Ad valorem tax and Claflin School proposals approved by city council

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Two proposals get approved during Columbus City Council and of them is going to affect some of your wallets. The other approved item will change a piece of history, but some may think both city council changes are good.

Instead of the ad valorem tax being due in one large lump sun payment will now be broken down into different installments. Tuesday night, we also learned the historic Claflin Building will be renovated in an effort to house dozens of residents.

For those who don’t know, the ad valorem tax is defined by the deputy tax commissioner as a tax that’s assesed based on the property you you. As of 2017, Muscogee County residents were required to pay the full ad valorem amount by December 1. Tuesday, the city attorney proposed breaking down the payments into two installments. Forty percent due by October 1, the other sixty percent due by December 1. Six of the 11 council members present voted to pass that item. The city attorney says, the new way to pay ad valorem taxes isn’t quite that new at all.

“City Attorney: This would be 2018 and all future tax years you’d be reverting to your two installment payment system. Councilor Davis: I gotcha…so we changed this year..we’re just puttin it back in place? City Attorney: correct.”

City council also addressed renovating the historic Clafin building. According to our media partner The Ledger Enquirer, the Claflin School was the city’s first school for black children established by the Freedmen’s Bureau after the Civil War. The city manager proposed allowing the friends of the historic Claflin to sub-lease Claflin School to the Joint Venture, Claflin School Preservation. This will allow representatives to obtain state historic tax credits for the conversion of the school.

“44 plus or minus units of affordable housing, with an area of the school, to be set aside for the educational programs and to display the school’s history,” says Isaiah Hugley.

All ten of the 11 council members present voted to approve the Claflin School proposal. The Claflin School renovation will be at no cost to taxpayers. Representatives say, renovations are expected to begin in Summer 2018.


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