School board cuts millage rate - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

School board cuts millage rate

September 9, 2002
By Elaine Armstrong

Albany- A countywide property reassessment raised the average home value by 4.6-percent. Frustrated homeowners complained to the school board about having to higher property taxes.

"Why is the public not being invited and not shown the numbers to substantiate that there's a need for all this increase.  That's what I want to know," admits Johnny Mitchell.

The school board responded by dropping its millage rate from 17.7 to 17.55. But because the current budget was based on the previous rate, the drop will cost the school system 285 thousand dollars.

"Less money coming down from the state, well that means we absorb locally more of the cost of educating the children and our only local source is the property tax," says Emily McAfee the only board member to vote no on the drop.

The vote is bittersweet for some taxpayers because the drop is not enough to offset the rise in property values for many homeowners.

Board member David Maschke says when the school board set the budget in June, they did not know reassessments would mean higher taxes for most homeowners.  He says the rollback is as big as the school system could handle without creating severe budget problems.

Posted at 11:30 PM by Elaine Armstrong

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