News Post

Dalton Public Schools to Raise Taxes
emily.martin

Dalton Public Schools has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 0.95%.

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE


Dalton Public Schools has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 0.95%.

All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 300 West Waugh Street, Dalton, Georgia on Monday, August 12, 2019 at 9:00 AM or at 6:15 PM.

Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase will also be in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 300 West Waugh Street, Dalton, Georgia, on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 5:30 PM.

This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 8.20 mills, an increase of 0.077 mills. Without this tentative increase, the millage rate will be no more than 8.123 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $125,000 is approximately $9.63 and the proposed tax increase for a non-homestead property with a fair market value of $725,000 is approximately $53.90.


The City of Dalton Board of Education does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a special board meeting to be held in the Council Chambers at Dalton City Hall, 300 West Waugh Street, Dalton, Georgia on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. Pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. 48-5-32, the Board of Education does here publish the following presentation of the current year's tax digest and levy, along with the history of the tax digest and levy for the past five years.


CITY OF DALTON BOARD OF EDUCATION ESTIMATED 2019 TAX DIGEST AND FIVE YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY


201420152016201720182019
REAL AND PERSONAL3,573,834,2233,631,310,2483,576,769,9483,725,506,4213,832,017,2643,900,852,863
MOTOR VEHICLES152,449,725102,988,22579,317,55060,723,37549,378,40041,732,450
MOBILE HOMES270,138309,608337,158329,980363,023347,653
HEAVY DUTY EQUIPMENT170,56015,2550062,9600
UTILITIES26,323,41826,322,15325,412,16523,732,06023,110,69521,956,165
GROSS DIGEST3,753,048,0643,760,945,4893,681,836,8213,810,291,8363,904,932,3423,964,889,130
LESS M&O EXEMPTIONS318,453,929325,665,644310,145,903322,512,770324,560,279329,687,205
NET M&O DIGEST3,434,594,1353,435,279,8453,371,690,9183,487,779,0663,580,372,0633,635,201,925
MANDATED STATE QBE TAX2.0002.0002.0002.0002.0002.00
LOCAL MILLAGE6.2006.2006.2006.2006.2006.200
TOTAL M&O MILLAGE8.2008.2008.2008.2008.2008.200
NET LEVY (AMOUNT BILLED)28,163,67228,169,29527,647,86628,599,78829,359,05129,808,656
NET TAX $ INCREASE2,089,8985,623(521,429)951,923759,263449,605
NET TAX % INCREASE8.0%0.020%-1.851%3.443%2.655%1.531%

Tax digest amounts represent 100% assessed valuation. The net levy represents the amount billed and not the amount collected.

The above totals are subject to some revisions due to properties that are under appeal. O.C.G.A 48-5-311 requires temporary tax bills based on 85% of the year's assessed valuation or the taxpayers' return value, whichever is greater.

$34,051,624 was added to the 2019 Tax Digest by reassessment.

Source: Whitfield County Board of Tax Assessors


The Dalton Board of Education has tentatively approved to continue with an operating millage rate of 8.20 mills. This would be the sixth consecutive year with the same operating millage rate.

The certified digest shows 1.5 percent growth or $450,000 of increased tax revenue for the school district. The improved tax digest is a result of additions, expansions and redevelopment within the City.

For fiscal year 2020, state revenue sources increased $3.9 million or 8.4 percent to fund the state teacher salary increase of $3,000 annually, and earned instructional positions. The state teacher salary scale has not had adjustments due to the recession. The state increased the teacher scale back in 2009, and was not able to adjust salaries until 2018 with a 2 percent increase at that time.

The fiscal year 2020 budget adds a total of 24 positions which are predominately state funded and in alignment with the board's strategic plan. The district will increase English language learner teachers and add special education teachers due to increased number of students requiring those specialized services. Also, the district is able to restore elementary academic coaching positions that had been reduced throughout the recession which will be an integral part of supporting teachers to strengthen classroom instruction.

The board approved annual operating budget of $84.6 million for the upcoming fiscal year 2020 has expenditures exceeding revenues by $1.8 million thus using fund balance to cover the difference. Maintaining the millage rate of 8.20 mills funds the fiscal year 2020 budget to support the district's efforts to improve academic performance.

The City of Dalton property owners will continue to see on their tax bills a debt service millage rate for the General Obligation Bond approved by the voters in November of 2017 for the new 6-7 grades Hammond Creek Middle School. A millage rate of 0.57 mills will be listed separately on the tax bill specifically to pay the General Obligation bond. The new Hammond Creek Middle School for 6th and 7th grade students, in conjunction with a grade configuration change at the secondary level, will help reduce the large enrollment at the current Dalton Middle and Dalton High schools. Construction for the new Hammond Creek Middle School is underway with an opening anticipated in the fall of 2021.

Historically, the school millage was its highest in recent years, back in fiscal year 2005, at 8.70 mills. At that time the board was able to decrease the millage rate over a four year period to 7.845 mills. The board held the millage rate at 7.845 mills for six years during the recession even though the number of students being educated by Dalton Public Schools had grown 14 percent. In fiscal year 2015, the board approved to increase the millage to the current rate of 8.20 mills as it took steps in restoring instructional positions and programs to meet the needs of students.