Gainesville City Schools will lower its millage rate this year, the first time the district has done so since 2010.
The district’s tax rate has been set at 7.59 mills since 2012, and the Board of Education tentatively approved a lowered rate of 7.48 mills at its Monday meeting. Final adoption of the rate will take place during a board work session Sept. 2.
A mill represents $1 for each $1,000 in assessed value.
Janet Allison, chief financial officer for the district, said the lower rate does not lower taxes, but instead avoids raising them after some property values increased in a recent reassessment.
She said the district is required by law to roll back the millage rate when assessed values increase.
The idea, she said, is to keep the amount of tax collected on assessed properties roughly the same. She said if the board retained the previous millage rate of 7.59 mills, it would be considered a tax increase, which would require a public hearing process.
The board is required to tentatively adopt a new millage rate two weeks before final adoption, and to advertise the five-year history of tax rates in the district.
That history begins with 2009, when the millage rate was 7.41 mills. That was lowered to 7.39 in 2010, then raised to 7.59 in 2012. Allison said the higher millage rate in 2012 was due a decrease in the tax digest.
Even with the lowered rate, the district will collect slightly more in taxes than originally budgeted. Allison said the additional $499,364 is not considered a tax increase because it is sourced differently.
“That is due to pure growth of the digest, not reassessments,” she said.
This means the money is not the result of a tax increase, but comes from new taxable properties or improvements.
With the rate of 7.48 mills, the district expects to collect $23,536,160.