You’ll pay more in Fayette school taxes this year


BoE leaning toward no rollback despite increase of 9.5% in property values

The Fayette County Board of Education will likely hold the millage rate steady at the state maximum of 20 mills again this year. But with the increase in property values across the county, the same millage rate will amount to a tax increase of $153 on a home with a fair market value of $225,000.

The 20-mill rate with no rollback represents the equivalent of a 1.739-mill increase to taxpayers.

School board members at the Aug. 3 meeting discussed the upcoming rate and were split on the idea of providing some degree of a rollback.

Board members Diane Basham and Barry Marchman said the board should look at reducing the millage by some amount to offset what would otherwise be a tax increase by holding the rate steady at 20 mills.

Agreeing with Basham, Marchman said the school system usually does not spend as much money as is budgeted. Marchman referenced six school systems of the more than 180 in the state that have a millage rate of 20 mills or more.

“I don’t want to be in that club much longer,” Marchman said.

Board members Leonard Presberg and Dan Colwell, who also found some agreement from the other board members, said other issues in the school system need to be addressed before agreeing to a rollback.

Contacted Tuesday, Chairman Marion Key said she is leaning toward keeping the rate at 20 mills with no rollback.

The school board for the past few years has levied the state maximum of 20 mills. Yet the 9.52 percent increase in the fair market value of properties across Fayette County translates into what is essentially a tax increase since most of the school board are not inclined to approve a property tax rollback.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance Tom Gray noted that the millage rate would be no more than 18.261 mills without the increase.

The tax increase from maintaining the millage rate at 20 mills means that a home valued at $225,000 will pay an additional $153.03.

The school board will hold public hearing on the tax increase on Aug. 10 at noon and 6:30 p.m. and on Aug. 17 at 6:30 p.m. prior to the adoption at the regular meeting at 7 p.m. All meetings will be held at the school board office at 210 West Stonewall Avenue in Fayetteville.