The Gordon County Board of Education announced its intention to maintain the current millage rate of 19.172 mills for the 2019-2020 school year. This is not an increased millage; however, it is an increase over the rollback millage rate of 18 mills.
When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires a rollback millage must be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred.
Gordon County Director of Finance Mendy Goble said the difference between the rollback rate of 18 mills and the intended rate of 19.172 mills would “not be significant” for individual taxpayers. For a property with the homestead exemption and a fair market value of $150,000, the difference in tax, between the proposed rate and the rollback rate, is $67.98 annually or $5.66 per month.
If, however, a taxpayer had no change in their property value for 2019, no increase will be reflected in their tax bill. If a taxpayer had a reassessment on their property value for 2019, a proportional change will be reflected in their tax bill.
“So, it’s a small change to each individual taxpayer, but it’s a huge impact for us,” she said. “When we look at staying at 19.172, that’s a million dollars net to us.”
The decision to favor keeping the current millage rate was heavily based on the possibility of a recession in the near future, the likelihood that mandated raises could cost the school system approximately $400,000, and the desire to balance a currently unbalanced budget. The county’s decision to continue phasing in the Freeport Tax exemption, which taxes inventory, raw materials, and finished goods, is also expected to cost the system at least $300,000, Goble said.
By keeping the millage rate at 19.172 mills, the total tax levied would be $16,875,166. The school system would then pay a required 2.5% fee to the county in the amount of $421,879, leaving the board with a net tax of $16,453,287.
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on these tax increases to be held at the Green Room on Sept. 23 at 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. There will also be a third public hearing on Sept. 30 at noon at the Central Office.