The Dalton Board of Education has tentatively approved to continue with an operating millage rate of 8.20 mills. This would be the fifth consecutive year with the same operating millage rate.
The City of Dalton property owners will see an increase for the first time on their tax bills this year representing the repayment of the debt for the General Obligation Bond approved by the voters in November of 2017 for the new 6-7 grades Hammond Creek Middle School. An addition of 0.57 mills will be listed separately on the tax bill specifically to pay the General Obligation bond. Combining the school's operating millage with the new debt millage is the equivalent of a 7 percent increase in property taxes. For an average home valued at $125,000, the increase in property taxes would be $71 annually or just under $6 per month.
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. Site work for new Hammond Creek Middle School will start this fall with a tentative opening in the fall of 2020.
The certified digest shows 2.6 percent growth or $750,000 of increased tax revenue for the school district. The improved tax digest is a result of additions, expansions and redevelopment within the city.
The school millage was 8.70 mills in fiscal year 2005. At that time the board was able to decrease the millage rate each year during the four year period leading up to the recession. Dalton's Board of Education held the millage rate at 7.845 mills for six years even though the number of students being educated by Dalton Public Schools had grown 14 percent. During the recession, local property tax revenue decreased by 10 percent for the school district from a combination of increased exemptions as well as declining values.
The board responded to these challenges by reducing expenditures in all areas of the school district that included positions, salaries, benefits, student transportation and materials and supplies in the classroom and throughout the system. This resulted in larger class sizes, reduced program offerings and overall less spending per student. 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.
The board-approved annual operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2019 has expenditures exceeding revenues by $1.0 million, thus using fund balance to cover the difference. Maintaining the millage rate of 8.20 mills funds the fiscal year 2019 budget to support the district's efforts to improve academic performance. The budget adds teachers to restore lower class sizes at the elementary level, increases English language learner teachers, as well as implements Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to assess student growth. The district added school resource officers, made facility changes and expanded the student assistance program to improve overall safety and security.
NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE
Dalton Public Schools has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 0.06%.
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 13, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. or at 6 p.m.
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 21, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.
This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 8.20 mills, an increase of 0.005 mills. Without this tentative increase, the millage rate will be no more than 8.195 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $125,000 is approximately $0.66 and the proposed tax increase for a non-homestead property with a fair market value of $575,000 is approximately $2.87.
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, GA on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at 6:30 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 2018 TAX DIGEST AND FIVE YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY
|Real and Personal||3,442,871,158||3,573,834,223||3,631,310,248||3,576,769,948||3,725,506,421||3,832,017,264|
|Heavy Duty Equipment||0||170,560||15,255||0||0||62,960|
|Less M&O Exemptions||297,794,168||318,453,929||325,665,644||310,145,903||322,512,770||324,560,279|
|Net M&O Digest||3,323,616,761||3,434,594,135||3,435,279,845||3,371,690,918||3,487,779,066||3,580,372,063|
|Mandated State QBE Tax||2.000||2.000||2.000||2.000||2.000||2.000|
|Total M&O Millage||7.845||8.200||8.200||8.200||8.200||8.200|
|Net Levy (Amount Billed)||26,073,773||28,163,672||28,169,295||27,647,866||28,599,788||29,359,051|
|Net Tax $ Increase||336,092||2,089,898||5,623||521,429||951,923||759,263|
|Net Tax % Increase||-1.273%||8.0%||0.020%||-1.851%||3.443%||2.655%|
Tax digest amounts represent 100 percent 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 percent of the year's assessed valuation or the taxpayers' return value, whichever is greater.
$2,133,338 was added to the 2018 Tax Digest by reassessment.