The Catoosa County Board of Education will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 21, to adopt a new — and reduced — property tax rate.

Under the new rate, the Board of Education will collect $532,465 more in property taxes this year than it did in 2018.

But this doesn’t mean property owners will see a hike in their taxes. The increase in collections is due mainly to new construction driving up the county’s tax digest, which is the value of all property in the county. In the past year the tax digest has risen 3.5%, from $1.619 trillion to $1.676 trillion.

“Catoosa County residents will not see an increase in their tax bill,” School Superintendent Denia Reese said, “because the Board of Education is taking the rollback millage rate for the sixth consecutive year. With new construction and new residents in the county, the school system will see a slight increase in revenue due to more taxable properties.”

“Our Board of Education is committed to being good stewards of taxpayer revenue,” Reese said. “With this rollback, the 2019 millage rate of 16.905 is almost the same as the 2012 rate (16.773).”

Blake Stansell, director of finance said, “The tax commissioner’s office provided a rollback millage rate that would generate the same amount of revenue from current residents in 2019. This means that current residents will not see an increase from their 2018 tax bill.”

For 2018, the school board levied a 17.171 millage (property tax) rate and collected $27,804,990 in property taxes. For 2019, the school board plans to levy a 16.905 millage rate and collect $28,337,455, an increase of $532,465 (1.9%).

The school board will be collecting more in property taxes in 2019 than in 2018 — even though the proposed millage rate for 2019 is lower — because the county’s tax digest is greater: for 2018, the total value was $1,619,299,413; for 2019, the total value is $1,676,276,550, an increase of $56,977,137 (3.5%).

Most of the increase in the county’s property digest is due to new construction, including new housing.

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