Fayette Board of Education to hike taxes 4.9%

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The Fayette County Board of Education has announced its intention to adopt the property tax millage rate at 19.250 mills, which will effectively raise property taxes the board of education will levy this year by 4.90 percent over the rollback millage rate.

The proposed millage rate is a reduction from the prior year’s millage rate by 0.250 mill.

Each year, the board of tax assessors is required to review the assessed value for property tax purposes of taxable property in the county. When the trend of prices on properties that have recently sold in the county indicate there has been an increase in the fair market value of any specific property, the board of tax assessors is required by law to re-determine the value of such property and adjust the assessment. This is called a reassessment.

When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires that a rollback millage rate must be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred.

The fiscal year 2020 budget adopted by the Fayette County Board of Education requires a millage rate higher than the rollback millage rate. Therefore, Georgia law requires three public hearings be held to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the proposed increase.

Increases in the fiscal year 2020 budget include additional classroom teachers, additional support staff, years of service credit increases, and a $3,000 raise for classroom teachers as well as other certified staff. Classified support staff will receive a 2 percent cost of living increase. The total general fund budget is $229.5 million.

All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held at the Lafayette Educational Center located at 205 LaFayette Avenue, Fayetteville, Georgia on Aug. 14, 2019 at 12 noon and 6 p.m., and Aug. 21, 2019 at 6 p.m.

The millage adoption is scheduled to occur Aug. 21, 2019 at 6 p.m. at the location listed above.

3 COMMENTS

  1. You miss the point. What I pay in taxes goes down. I would like to rely on my paper to tell me if my taxes are going up or down, not what politicians say. You realize, when politicians say they are keeping the budget “flat”, the reality is they are raising the budget by whatever the cost of living for the previous year. Politicians play word games, I don’t expect my local news source to do the same. Will I have more coming out of my pocket or not? In this case, no, I won’t. To be clear, tax receipts are rising 4.9% – your headline implies my taxes are going up but they’re not. Each individual’s taxes are going down, but because more are contributing, overall collections are going up. That’s a good thing – more contributing at a lower rate equals more total incoming. Maybe the FCBOE’s press release is misleading as well – but the way it is presented is instructive on how the Fourth Estate can influence public opinion just by how they present the news.

  2. Somebody explain to me how “The proposed millage rate is a reduction from the prior year’s millage rate by 0.250 mill.” is the same as a “Tax Increase”. The title of this article is extremely poor and only continues to exemplify the anti-FCBOE crusade of the staff of the Citizen. This is the definition of “Fake News”. A tax increase would normally mean we’d be paying more this year than last, but in this case, The Citizen has redefined “increase” to compare the tax to a calculation for a proposed tax instead of actual year-over-year comparison. In reality, we’re getting more teachers and staff and being billed less than last year. Again, this would be a cause for celebration in a business, but apparently not if you are on a single-minded crusade against the school system.

    • Tracer, you ignore at least one pertinent point: The school system itself calls it a tax increase. The article is a word-for-word reprint of a news release sent to The Citizen by the Fayette County School System. Please re-read the opening sentence of the news release sent out by the school system:”The Fayette County Board of Education has announced its intention to adopt the property tax millage rate at 19.250 mills, which will effectively raise property taxes the board of education will levy this year by 4.90 percent over the rollback millage rate” (emphasis mine). State law explicitly calls it a tax increase, the school system itself calls it a tax increase, and the headline is an exact restatement of what the school system itself says “will effectively raise property taxes the board of education will levy this year by 4.90 percent.” I didn’t write that sentence; the school system, following state law, did. Your enthusiastic advocacy on behalf of the system is admirable, but it should be grounded in a basic understanding of settled state law and taxing policy. That law — which has been in effect for several years — requires a taxing body to explicitly acknowledge that if property values increase but the millage rate remains above the level that would have brought in the same amount of dollars as the previous year, the taxing body has raised taxes, and thus is required to (1) make that public announcement as the school system did and which we reprinted verbatim, and (2) hold public hearings to restate the fact that the amount you pay in taxes is about to go up. Even with the millage rate reduction of 0.250 mill, the announced millage rate will bring in more money than the same millage rate the previous year. It’s the school system saying that, in its own news release that we reprinted without change. In the case of this verbatim news release, Tracer, the school system could be described as embarking on “a single-minded crusade” to follow well-established (and generally well-known) state law. I applaud the board and the system for that. You apparently did not realize that “a tax increase would normally mean we’d be paying more this year than last…” which is exactly what the school system’s news release says is happening.