We have long said that our budgetary recovery is simply due to the fact that although property values have recovered, the Board has never returned the ‘temporary’ millage rate increase approved by the Board for 2012, endorsed and upheld by Ramona Tyson, Cheryl Atkinson and Michael Thurmond as sitting superintendents, in order to recover property tax revenues lost from decreasing property values of the recession. This increased tax collection due to increased property values has resulted in at least a $100 million Windfall for the school board’s ‘budgets’ the last two years.
Read this perfectly explained letter sent to us from David S, a District 4 Taxpayer >>
Dr. Melvin Johnson, Chair
DeKalb County Board of Education
1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd.
Stone Mountain, GA
As a long-time resident and tax-payer in DeKalb County, I am quite disappointed that the Board has decided to raise property taxes once again to fund a burgeoning budget rather than taking a more responsible position and getting rid of unneeded programs and excessive administrative staff. Disappointed, but not surprised.
Having accepted this action of the Board, I’ve looked for the Notice of Property Tax Increase that you are required by law to post and have been unable to find it, either in a local newspaper, as required, or on the School Board website, also required. Nor have I seen a DCBOE press release advertising your intention to raise property taxes (also required).
I do note, however, that you have scheduled “Public Budget and Millage Rate Hearings,” on both June 1 and June 17. I sincerely hope that these scheduled meetings are not meant to take the place of the Property Tax Increase hearings because (1) it violates Georgia law, and (2) it would appear that the Board is hiding something from the public (we certainly don’t want that).
Since, at times, it seems as though we have more lawyers working for the school system than we do educators, I’m wondering if you might have one of them review Georgia Department of Revenue Regulation 560-11-2-58 (http://dor.georgia.gov/rollback-millage-rate-when-digest-value-increased-reassessments) and verify if my understanding is correct. As I read it, in order for you, as a “levying authority,” to raise property taxes, you must do the following:
- Schedule three Property Tax Increase hearings [Par (4) (b) 1]
- Advertise each, at least a week prior to the hearing [Par (4) (b) 2(i)]
- Advertise each in a local paper, and on your website [Par (4) (b) 2(i)].
- The advertisements must be specifically titled, “Notice of Property Tax Increase,” and contain specific information regarding the dollar increase in property tax [Par (4) (b) 2(i)].
- Along with the advertisements, the Board must issue a press release to local media announcing its intention to raise property taxes [Par (4) (b) 2(viii)].
- The Board must provide evidence of compliance with these and all other requirements in this regulation before the tax commissioner can authorize the collection of higher property taxes [Par (5) (a)].
Please let me know when this process will begin. Or, if I have simply missed the advertisements and the press release, please direct me to them.
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Property Taxes Increasing In DeKalb