Monday, July 20, 2015

School board approves a rate cut of 1.84 mills

The Decatur board of education approved a 2015 property tax rate of 18.66 mills last week.  The rate is 1.84 mills lower than it was in 2014 (a 9 percent year-over-year decrease), and it is 0.34 mills lower than what the school system's finance department recommended for this year.

The approved rate is higher than the "rollback rate" of 18.1 mills, which is the highest rate that could have been passed to result in an effective tax cut once property values citywide are factored in.  Under the new rate, the school taxes in 2015 for a property valued at $400,000 would be $368 less than they were in 2014.  But given the growth in local property values this year, the decreased tax rate could end up washing out on many tax bills.

Several large school districts in the state, such Cobb County, Gwinnett County, Cherokee County, and Atlanta Public Schools are holding their millage rates steady for 2015.  Muscogee County, Savannah, and Forsyth have adopted millage rate increases.  The Oconee County board of education has approved a decrease, but I'm not familiar of too many other school tax rate cuts at this time.

Decaturish has a good write-up on the school board's decision here.

Per Decatur's charter, the City Commission is required to adopt the levy rate proposed by the school board.  The Commission will take up the measure during their meeting tonight.

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