Chickamauga residents will pay fewer property taxes in 2020.

The Chickamauga Board of Education has recommended to the city council setting the millage (property tax) rate at 14.25 mils, the same school millage it has maintained since 2015. The city continues to charge no property taxes thanks to franchise fees and revenues from utilities it collects.

The city has advertised that the school millage rate is expected to generate $1.523 million in property taxes to support the city school system; the amount to be collected is roughly $62,466 (3.94%) less than collected in 2019.

Calculating projected tax collection shortfalls delayed the state’s budget process and prompted many school systems to adjust their timetables for setting budgets. The state cut approximately $950 million in funds resulting from the coronavirus pandemic’s economic impact for basic classroom education.

“Since we’ve received the final state budget information so late, we want to study every detail and option that we have in an effort to absorb the cuts in a manner that is most beneficial to students,” Chickamauga City Schools Superintendent Melody Day said.

The Chickamauga City Council has advertised it will set the millage rate at its meeting Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 6 p.m. Millage hearing dates will be announced at the Aug. 10 school board meeting.

The millage rate is the amount per $1,000 used to calculate property taxes. The millage rate is multiplied by the total taxable value of the property, or tax digest, to calculate the amount of property tax owed.

The school system’s 2020-21 budget is scheduled to be presented at the Aug. 10 board meeting, and the board is expected to approve the budget at its Sept. 14 meeting. Both meetings will be at 5:15 p.m. in the board room at the Central Office, 402 Cove Road, Chickamauga.

Catherine Edgemon is assistant editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and the Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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