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Hearings on school tax rate fail to draw
The Forsyth County Board of Education made final approval of a $520 million school district budget for Fiscal Year 2020 at its latest board meeting. - photo by File photo

FORSYTH COUNTY — No one spoke in favor of or against the Forsyth County Board of Education’s proposed millage rate during the first two public hearings on the matter.

Since the school system is planning to maintain the same rate that it’s had since 2011, 16.30 mills, three public hearing were required by state law.

Under the law, if a government does not approve the rollback rate, or the rate that would generate the same amount of taxes that were generated the previous year, the hearings are required.

The millage rate is part of a formula used to calculate property taxes, where one mill equals $1 for every $1,000 in assessed property value.

By remaining at the current rate, rather than going to the rollback rate, some homeowners may see higher tax bills based on property assessments.  

Last month, the school board approved a $309.2 million budget for 2015 that includes more than 120 new positions, step increases and adding three days back to the school calendar.

The 2015 budget reflects a $20 million increase from 2014, largely due to the new positions, which will cost about $8.3 million.

Adding the step increase is costing about $3.2 million and the three days come at a cost of $3.4 million. Other budget increases include about $2 million for new computer leases and $286,000 for textbooks.

The school board held its first two hearings on the millage rate at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday, with no one attending either.

The final hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, prior to the board’s regular monthly meeting at 6 p.m., when it is scheduled to approve the fiscal year 2015 millage rate.

Forsyth County’s government, which levies a separate millage rate, will also hold its third and final millage rate hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The county also plans to maintain the same rate it has had for the past several years, 4.812 mills.