Property Taxes Increasing In DeKalb

Another great post from Stan Jester’s Fact Checker blog >>

reality-checkYou’ll be happy to know the safe that just landed on your head is just 6.54% heavier than it was last year.

Property Taxes
DeKalb Schools is planning on keeping its 23.98 millage rate and will remain the 2nd highest millage rate in the state. However, on average, DeKalb residents can expect a 6.54% increase in their property taxes due to rising property values.

Millage Rate
Millage rate is the rate at which property taxes are levied on property. A mill is 1/1000 of a dollar. Property taxes are computed by multiplying the taxable value of the property by the number of mills levied. The millage rate can be found on the property tax statement or by contacting the DeKalb County office.

Local Taxation for Education
In truth, DeKalb’s tax rate is above the legal limit.

Art. VIII – Sec VI of the Georgia Constitution says, the “school system shall annually certify to its fiscal authority or authorities a school tax not greater than 20 mills per dollar for the support and maintenance of education.” State Senator Fran Millar mentioned a few years back that he considered introducing legislation to roll back DeKalb’s millage cap that was raised to 25 mills years ago when the county ran DeKalb College. The school later became Georgia Perimeter College and was taken over by the state. There’s nothing quite as permanent as a temporary tax or interim superintendent. Fran Millar is running for reelection this year and would love to hear your thoughts on said legislation.

Taxpayer Bill of Rights
One purpose of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is to prevent indirect tax increases resulting from increases to existing property values in a county due to inflation. One tenet of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is that the school district must notify the public that taxes are being increased even when they do not roll back the millage rate each year to offset any inflationary increases in the digest.

Millage Rate Hearing
DeKalb Schools’ 1st millage rate hearing will be June 25th. The 2nd and 3rd millage rate hearing as well as the adoption of the tax levy will be on July 7th at the board work session and business meetings.

You may view the latest post at

Thank You,



DSW Note:  So basically, no, the school board is not raising the millage rate, however, the county is raising the assessments (the value of your home) and therefore raising your tax liability. Well, they are raising the assessments in ‘parts’ of the county — while lowering the values in other parts. In theory, when values increase, the millage rate should decrease to keep taxes even. (Remember, the last school board increased the millage rate in order to compensate for the drop in property values.) Overall, the tax collections will increase by over 6% – a big bonus for the school system, which accounts for over 60% of your property tax bill.

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13 Responses to Property Taxes Increasing In DeKalb

  1. howdy1942 says:

    Not one more dollar in increased taxes until substantial changes have been made to the Dekalb County School System. Not one!! Clean up the mess! Audit and find out what resources you have. Get the focus and priority on the classroom. Get Human Resources fixed. Until then, not one more dollar for the DCSS!!! Period!!!!

  2. Cedar says:

    They tax us so they can steal our money and give it to themselves and their friends. We are being robbed and it will only get worse.

  3. Another comment says:

    Dekalb, Fulton and City of Atlanta are all run by the black friends and Family who will make sure to only raise taxes in the white areas of town. The areas whose folks have been forced to homeschool or send their children to private school to avoid the bullying by the section 8 apartment dwellers who disrupt class by bullying the smart white kids or any child with an interest in learning acting white.

  4. The DeKalb School Board is holding 3 public hearings regarding its decision not to roll back the millage rate to compensate for higher revenues from increased property tax assessments.

    Public Hearings- DeKalb Schools Millage Decision
    Wednesday, June 25, 6:00 pm
    Monday, July 7, 11:00 am
    Monday, July 7, 6:30 pm

    DeKalb School System
    Administrative and Instructional Complex
    1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd
    Stone Mountain

  5. howdy1942 says:

    @DSW – Thanks for letting us know. I suspect that these hearings are little more than going through the motions – remember how they wanted our input on the future structure of the school system and the just before the hearing scheduled for Lakeside High (postponed because of the ice storm), they announced their decision. That is just the sort of thing that has destroyed trust in the DCSS by the community and the DCSS has done little to begin to restore that trust.

    As a taxpayer, I want the DCSS to complete an audit to find out just what resources it has, scrutinize the central staff for size and function, fix responsibility in the classroom and get everyone else out of the way, settle that lawsuit with the teachers and present a plan to restore and repay their TSA, and do a better job with what you (the DCSS) has before asking for more.

  6. City properties gain ‘phenomenal’ value in DeKalb County
    By Mark Niesse
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Properties in DeKalb County’s cities are gaining far more value than those in unincorporated areas, according to the county’s mid-year budget.

    The taxable value of city properties is expected to increase 13.1 percent this year, while the taxable value of unincorporated properties is up only 0.6 percent. Countywide, taxable property values are growing 5.9 percent this year.

    “This growth is phenomenal and an indicator that when the newest cities were developed, the best properties were included,” wrote Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May in a letter to county commissioners Thursday.

    Since 2008, the cities of Dunwoody and Brookhaven have formed, bringing the total number of cities in DeKalb County to 11.


    Soooo… whose taxes will be increasing exactly? Basically half the properties will increase in taxable value by 12% and half will stay at 0% netting an ‘average’ increase of 6%. This is exactly the same as the way the system calculates test scores and graduation rates – half are in the 90s and half are in the 50s – netting a respectable ‘average’ in the 70s – covering up the fact that half of our students are not getting properly educated whatsoever.

  7. There is momentum pushing for a roll back >>

    City tax talks continue as citizens push for roll-back

    Brookhaven, GA, June 18 – Tuesday, the City of Brookhaven held two of three required Public Hearings regarding a Notice of Property Tax Increase and the city’s tax rate. The first meeting was held at 10:30 AM and the second at 7:00 PM.

    At both meetings City Finance Director, Bonnie Kline gave a brief presentation that outlined the numbers. Kline said the proposed millage rate of 2.85, if adopted, will stay the same as last year.

    Citizens who spoke during both meetings sent a clear message to the Council to roll-back the city tax rate, to “exercise local control” and reduce the net tax burden to city residents.

    According to citizens calculations, if the city were to roll-back the tax rate to the suggested 2.569 mills, it would mean a savings to taxpayers of approximately $704,000.

    More details in the two videos attached to this story.

    The next and last hearing on this matter will be June 30th at City Hall at 10:30 AM when the Council is scheduled to vote on adoption.

    Click to watch videos >>

  8. howdy1942 says:

    @DSW – I also just read that article in the AJC and that is why we in Tucker, Lakeside, and Briarcliff absolutely must resolve our geographical issues and get cityhood for each through the next Legislature. I also think that you are correct in saying that these cities in Dekalb will foot the bill for any tax increase in Dekalb and I’m sure that they will be elated and more than willing to do that (yeah, right!) This will only disenfranchise these cities further and motivate them even more to establish their own independent school systems. And eventually they will be successful. What happens to the DCSS then? It is “out of millage rates” and any change would need Legislative approval and there would be overwhelming opposition to such a move. The DCSS already has the second highest millage rate in the State and I just don’t think the Legislature would be the least bit receptive to allowing the millage rate to be raised. I don’t live in Dunwoody or Brookhaven, but the DCSS absolutely must come to an understanding that taxes from these two cities are absolutely critical to the DCSS. Without them, the DCSS would face dire consequences.

    It is way past time for the Dekalb County School Board to reach out to these communities, listen to them, address their grievances, restore trust, and be honest with them. The DCSS cannot continue to ignore them and remain so arrogant. Even the Dekalb Legislative Delegation is growing frustrated with the DCSS and flatly denied its request to work to keep the school board at nine members. The DCSS school board needs to smell the coffee.

  9. teachermom says:

    If they get more money from taxes they darn well better give us back our TSA match and reinstate step increases. That’s all I’m saying. I pay taxes in DeKalb too.

  10. howdy1942 says:

    @teachermom – The school board and the superintendent can afford to give you back your TSA match and reinstate your step increases regardless of what happens. It only needs to assess what resources that it already has, refocus its priorities, reduce legal expenses, and get everyone out of the classroom except the teachers and their students.

  11. concerned citizen says:

    Howdy and teachermom, well said! PLEASE, Thurmond and board members, read this simple explanation of what you should have already done, but you can still do the right thing for DeKalb. Please take heed and read what insightful people who know what they are talking about are proposing. Your continued stubborness, horrible attitude towards criticism, lack of respect for teachers, children, and parents has led DeKalb to the brink of disaster. Surely, some one of you must have a conscience. You can’t really think that being defensive is helping anybody. Please, give back our teacher TSAl, step increases, eliminate many of your own positions, and stop hiring lawyers. FGS, do these things now!

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