The Gainesville City Schools Board of Education on Monday, June 17, approved a nearly $75.2 million budget for the 2020 fiscal year, which begins July 1, while setting the property tax rate at its lowest mark in more than 20 years.
The board held two public meetings before casting the final vote on the budget and a millage rate of 6.614.
That figure is a full rollback of the tax rate, down from 6.85, to account for increases in revenue from property tax reassessments.
The tax rate was 7.48 mills just five years ago, but it has decreased as residential and commercial growth expands throughout the city.
Hall County’s population, for example, officially surpassed 200,000 people this spring for the first time in its history.
School taxes in the city are assessed at 100 percent of a property’s value. That means taxpayers will save $23.60 per $100,000 of assessed property value compared with the current year’s budget.
The school system will utilize about $145,000 out of a $16 million reserve fund to balance its budget for next year.
The approved budget is up more than $3 million from the current year, with most of the additional expenditures coming out of state funds to support about $3,000 in salary increases for each of about 650 certified teachers.
The school board has also budgeted a 4 percent raise for an additional 300 classified staff, such as paraprofessionals, clerks and cafeteria staff, out of local revenues.
Gainesville Schools will spend about $9,300 per student next year, which is about the average among all school districts in Georgia (according to the most recent figures from fiscal year 2017).