School Board leaves millage unchanged

Published 9:51 am Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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After a third and final required public hearing, the Troup County Board of Education set the millage rate for the 2024 calendar year at 17.35 mills, leaving the rate unchanged.

Public hearings were required because despite the millage rate going unchanged, the school system will collect more in taxes due to increased tax assessments. Georgia Law requires that the hearings be held if the millage is not rolled back to keep the tax digest the same as the previous year.

Several residents spoke during the public hearing asking the school board to consider rolling back the millage to help out residents who are struggling to pay their property taxes, especially seniors.

School Board member-elect Tripp Foster, who will take the District 6 seat in January, asked the current board to consider decreasing the millage rate by one mill and dip into system reserves to make up the difference.

School system CFO Scott Burckbuchler said based on the current Troup County tax base that one mill would amount to about $3.6 million. The school system currently has around $20 million in reserves.

The school board formally adopted its $162 million FY 2025 budget in June, a 4.6% increase over last year. 

Burckbuchler noted that the majority of the increase will go toward teacher salary increases, specifically a $2,500 increase ordered by Gov. Brian Kemp. The school system is also continuing several programs that had previously been paid for using ARPA and CARES funds, which are no longer available.

School Board Member Ferrell Blair noted that residents could see some relief from ever-increasing tax assessments soon. Georgia lawmakers recently approved legislation that would limit property tax increases to the rate of inflation each year.

The measure requires a state constitutional amendment, which would need voter approval in November if it is to take effect.

Ultimately, the board voted unanimously to leave the millage rate unchanged at 17.35 mills.