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Public hearings set for school millage rate
Forsyth County Schools

Three public hearings will be held for residents to learn more about the millage rate the Forsyth County Board of Education tentatively adopted Tuesday at their June work session.

Once the final – fourth revision – to the county’s tax digest and exemptions came in, and with the board keeping the millage rate for school taxes the same — at 17.3 — the hearings are required to advertise a slight change in taxes for some homeowners who have had reassessments this year.

If you go

What: Public hearings for the proposed Forsyth County Schools millage rate

When: July 6, 6 p.m.; July 18, 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Where: Forsyth County Board of Education, 1120 Dahlonega Highway

If the millage rate is approved as is, instead of a rollback rate of 16.494 for maintenance and operations and 2.036 for debt services, the school system is poised to collect $178.95 million in property taxes and add $1.6 million to its general fund balance.

“We still have the lowest millage rate in the metro area and the lowest cost per student in the metro area,” Gunn said.

Adding that much would be about 15 percent of the district’s expenditures, which helps bond ratings.

Forsyth County Schools was just given the highest bond rating possible, which FCS Chief Financial Officer Rick Gunn said makes the system only the fourth in Georgia and 76th nationwide to do so.

Since school systems cannot tax the value of a reassessment, a rollback is offered as a way to collect the same amount of property taxes as the year prior.

However, that would mean the district would earn much less in revenue.

The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $250,000 is approximately $78.99 and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $250,000 is approximately $80.60.

A millage rate is used in the formula to calculate property taxes. One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 in assessed property value, and assessed value is 40 percent of the actual market price. 

“[This budget] is fiscally responsible, it takes care of our kids and it moves us forward,” Superintendent Jeff Bearden said.

The only changes to the $405.2 million district-wide budget made since first being presented to the board earlier this summer is the addition of two more positions – a technology clerk and a psychologist – bringing the total number of new positions to 168.5.

A 2 percent cost of living pay raise and step increases to anyone eligible remain in the budget.