Education news

The Walker County Board of Education is proposing a slight property tax increase in 2020.

The school board has advertised setting the millage (property tax) rate at 17.404 mils, which is an increase of 0.31 mils, or .18%. The rate is expected to generate $20.543 million in property taxes; the amount to be collected is roughly $407,000, or 2%, more than was collected in 2019.

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 proposed hike would increase the property tax due on a home with a fair market value of $100,000 with a homestead exemption by $1.18; the proposed increase on a property with a fair market value of $75,000 without a homestead exemption is roughly 93 cents, according to the legal advertisement announcing the planned millage rate.

The school board has advertised it will hold public hearings on the property tax increase on the following dates:

♦ Thursday, Aug. 6, at 6 p.m., Advanced Education Center, 925 Osburn Road, Chickamauga.

♦ Monday, Aug. 17, at 10 a.m. at the Board of Education offices, 201 S. Duke St., LaFayette.

♦ Monday, Aug. 17, at 5 p.m. at the Board of Education offices, 201 S. Duke St., LaFayette.

The school board will set the millage during its meeting Monday, Aug. 17, at 6 p.m. in the Board of Education offices at 201 S. Duke St., LaFayette.

At the July 20 school board meeting, the board voted unanimously to set the fiscal 2021 general fund budget of approximately $90.16 million and associated salary schedules, which will be funded with state and local revenues.

Local revenues comprise 28% of the total proposed revenue while state and other sources represent 72% of the revenue, according to school officials.

Of the anticipated revenue, $88.6 million would be applied to expenses and the remaining $1.55 million to the ending fund balance. The fund balance reflects restricted, non-spendable, assigned and unassigned fund balances as presented, according to school officials.

Public meetings regarding the tentative budget were posted on the school system’s website, www.walkerschools.org, prior to adoption July 20 during the regular board meeting.

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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