Dalton Public Schools News

Dalton Public Schools To Increase Taxes While Using the Same Millage Rate
Dalton Public Schools To Increase Taxes While Using the Same Millage Rate

The Dalton Board of Education has tentatively approved to continue with the millage rate of 8.20 mills. This would be the fourth consecutive year with the same millage rate. Even though the board would continue to use the same millage rate, it is considered a property tax increase since reassessments of existing real property increased by $97 million or 2.86 percent.

The board approved budget had expenditures exceeding revenues by nearly $1.2 million thus using fund balance to cover the difference. The certified digest is higher than what was estimated during the fiscal year 2018 budget process. Staff assumed real and personal property would show no growth, when it actually had a 3.5 percent increase or $1.2 million in tax revenue. This means district revenues are nearly in balance with district budgeted expenditures. Maintaining the millage rate could provide the district the opportunity to amend the General Fund budget and restore school allotments primarily for instructional materials and supplies that had been reduced significantly during the recession.

In fiscal year 2005 the millage was 8.70 mills, and since that time the board has decreased the millage rate in an attempt to be sensitive to the financial needs of the tax payers while appropriately funding the school district. Dalton's Board of Education held the millage rate of 7.845 mills for six years from fiscal year 2009 through 2014 during the difficult economic times of that recession. During that six year period property values in the community declined 8 percent, while exemptions increased 23 percent reducing local property tax revenue by 10 percent for the school district. At the same time, the number of students being educated by Dalton Public Schools has grown 14 percent.

The board responded to these challenges by reducing expenditures by nearly 13 percent 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 an increase to the millage rate of 0.355 mills, increasing it from 7.845 to the current millage rate of 8.20 mills.

Maintaining the millage rate of 8.20 mills funds the fiscal year 2018 budget that adds strategic positions to support the district's efforts to improve academic performance in math and increase teacher and student use of technology in instruction. The district added a social worker, a student assistance program, as well as random drug screenings for those students participating in athletics and extracurricular activities. The fiscal year 2018 budget includes the cost to rent mobile classrooms on the Dalton High School and Dalton Middle School campuses to accommodate enrollment and program needs in anticipation of a new 6-7 grade school that could redistribute and lower enrollments at the secondary level.

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE

Dalton Public Schools has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 2.86%.

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 Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 9 a.m. or at 6:30 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 Monday, September 11, 2017 at 6 p.m.

This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 8.20 mills, an increase of 0.228 mills. Without this tentative increase, the millage rate will be no more than 7.972 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $125,000 is approximately $29.36, and the proposed tax increase for a non-homestead property with a fair market value of $575,000 is approximately $134.89.

City of Dalton Board of Education Current 2017 Tax Digest and Five-Year History of Levy

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

REAL AND PERSONAL

3,480,789,346

3,442,871,158

3,573,834,223

3,631,310,248

3,576,769,948

3,725,506,421

MOTOR VEHICLES

155,514,725

157,709,325

152,449,725

102,988,225

79,317,550

60,723,375

MOBILE HOMES

276,315

246,748

270,138

309,608

337,158

329,980

HEAVY DUTYEQUIPMENT

0

0

170,560

15,255

0

23,732,060

UTILITIES

28,039,843

20,583,698

26,323,418

26,322,153

25,412,165

GROSS DIGEST

3,664,620,229

3,621,410,929

3,753,048,064

3,760,945,489

3,681,836,821

3,810,291,836

LESS M&O EXEMPTIONS

298,161,930

297,794,168

318,453,929

325,665,644

310,145,903

322,512,770

NET M&O DIGEST

3,366,458,299

3,323,616,761

3,434,594,135

3,435,279,845

3,371,690,918

3,487,779,066

MANDATED STATE QBE TAX

2.000

2.000

2.000

2.000

2.000

2.000

LOCAL MILLAGE

5.845

5.845

6.200

6.200

6.200

6.200

TOTAL M&O MILLAGE

7.845

7.845

8.200

8.200

8.200

8.200

NET LEVY (AMOUNT BILLED)

26,409,865

26,073,773

28,163,672

28,169,295

27,647,866

28,599,788

NET TAX $INCREASE

420,899

(336,092)

2,089,898

5,623

(521,429)

951,923

NET TAX %INCREASE

1.620%

-1.273%

8.0%

0.020%

-1.851%

3.443%


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.

$97,156,471 was added to the 2017 Tax Digest by reassessment.

Source: Whitfield County Board of Tax Assessors