COLUMBUS, Ga (WRBL) – The Muscogee County School Board discussed the proposal to raise the property tax by four percent for the upcoming school year.
The Board allowed two people to speak about how they felt about the proposed increase. District 7 board member Cathy Williams made sure to let people know that this board is moving forward with a recommendation of NO mileage rate increase.
“We are not proposing any mileage rate increase,” she said in her closing remarks.
The Board voted to tentatively adopt a mileage rate for 23.404 mills for the upcoming school year – the same tax rate from last year.
“Although the timing may seem suspicious, this is an annual requirement that occurs this time of year… each year,” Muscogee County School Board Chair Pat Hugley-Green said.
Hugley-Green says the language requires the board to talk about it as an increase. “If our community experiences any growth then, of course, we would see an increase in revenue.”
Green says Superintendent Lewis is not recommending any changes to the mill rate.
Last week, the Muscogee County Board of Education announced the proposal to adopt a new millage rate for the fiscal year 2021 that could increase property taxes by up to 3.92 percent to restore some budget shortfalls facing the District.
According to a release by MCBOE, the proposed levy would provide additional funding to implement safety precautions related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and help cover the reduction of funding for public education in Georgia from the virus’s economic impact on the state.
The Board says it has determined the proposed mill levy might be necessary to provide the resources students need to achieve as the District continues providing educational services.
The proposed increase to the millage rate will go up by .917 mill, resulting in a new rate of 24.321 mills. Without the tax increase, the millage rate would be no more than 23.404 mills, officials say.
The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $250,000 is about $33.47, and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $175,000 is about $64.19, as stated in the release by MCBOE.
Georgia law requires that the Board hold three public hearings for input from residents before a final millage rate can be set. The first was held on July 13.
The next meeting will be held on Monday, July 20 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The Board will formally vote on that day.