Update, July 28: The Hall County Board of Commissioners approved the millage rate unanimously during a Tuesday, July 28, meeting.
Update, July 27: The Hall County Board of Education voted 4-1 to approve both the fiscal year 2021 budget as well as a millage rate of 17.55 mills. The complete budget can be viewed on the district's website.
The Hall County Schools Board of Education approved a preliminary budget for the 2020-2021 school year July 6 that would leave the millage rate unchanged but could result in a tax increase for some homeowners.
The current millage rate is 17.55 mills. One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 in assessed value. The millage rollback rate for 2020 would be 16.669 mills, which would reflect the average amount a homeowner would need to see in order to avoid having to pay a higher rate due to a higher assessed property value.
But with the millage rate staying at 17.55 mills, the county school system expects to see an increase of 5.29% in property taxes levied, based on an expected increase in property value. Whether or not an individual homeowner can expect to pay more in property taxes in 2020 than the previous year is dependent on the property’s reassessment in value.
The proposed increase in property taxes levied by the school district would help offset a decrease of around $20 million in state funding in FY21.
Because the proposed budget includes a millage rate higher than the rollback millage rate, Georgia law requires the school district to have three public hearings before finalizing the rate to allow homeowners to express their opinions. The hearings will be held at 6 p.m. July 20, at 11:30 a.m. July 27 and at 6 p.m. July 27 at the Hall County School District central office.
The budget does not include any furlough days for Hall Schools employees in the fall semester, although Superintendent Will Schofield said furloughs were still an option the district could go to if necessary.
Schofield said everything in the approved preliminary budget is still subject to change, except for the millage rate, which cannot be increased now that the preliminary budget has been approved. The Hall board of education will continue to workshop the budget before approving a final plan for FY21 at the end of July.
The budget, which was put up on the school district’s website Tuesday morning and can be viewed here, includes $271,648,057 in expenditures, down nearly $900,000 from FY21. In its current form, the budget calls for decreases in spending on instructional staff training, media services, school administration, business services, plant maintenance, pupil transportation and “other support services.”
Total revenues would be at $256,769,749, down more than $9 million from last year. The preliminary budget calls for an expected $20,182,885.49 decrease in total state sources, but does include $5 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds, as well as an increase of more than $6 million from FY20 in “total local sources.”
The Hall school board will meet again on July 20, which will be the first opportunity for any public input on the proposed budget.