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Gainesville school tax public hearings draw little participation

Gainesville City School System board members held two of the three required public hearings Wednesday on the school system’s tentative tax rate, but the hearings did not include any comments from residents about the rate.

Only two people turned out for the 1 p.m. hearing Wednesday, and only media attended the 5 p.m. hearing.

“My sense is that means that people are supportive of the students in our schools,” board Chairman Brett Mercer said after the second hearing.

Final Gainesville school tax rate public hearing

When: 6 p.m. Sept. 6, followed by 6:30 p.m. board meeting to vote on tax rate

Where: 508 Oak St., Gainesville

The hearings are required because the tentative tax rate approved last week for the 2018 fiscal year is more than the full rollback rate. The rollback rate is computed as the tax rate that would produce the same total revenue as the previous year had there not been a reassessment.

While the tentative rate is the same as last year at 6.85 mills, it would still mean a tax increase for 4,908 properties subject to school taxes, according to Steve Watson, chief appraiser for the Hall County Board of Assessors. The millage rate equals $1 of taxes on every $1,000 of taxable value.  

The final public hearing is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 6 at the school district office located at 508 Oak St. in Gainesville. The board has scheduled a called meeting that night at 6:30 p.m. where it will likely have a final vote on the tax rate.

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