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Gainesville school taxes may drop
System employees to have a reduced schedule
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Gainesville City Schools Board Meeting

When: 7 tonight
Where: Gainesville School Board Office, 508 Oak St. No. 2, Gainesville, 770-536-5275,

Gainesville taxpayers may see a slight property tax decrease next year under the city Board of Education's proposed spending plan, but continued money problems at the state level will cause system employees to have a reduced work schedule.

Under the plan, which is slated for final approval tonight, taxpayers will pay 0.03 mills less in taxes, and employees of the city school system will lose eight days of pay.

School officials said the pay cut is the only way the system could continue operating under its current millage rate of 7.39 mills.

One mill equals $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value. Property is assessed at 100 percent in the city.

The school system will have $2 million less in property tax revenue next year, Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said.

School spending relies heavily on revenue from property taxes. More than 40 percent of the city school system's $67 million budget comes from the tax.

The school system did have to hire additional teachers to keep up with an increased number of students.

"The additional money this year will be around $1 million," Dyer said. "Any increase is due to an increase in enrollment and the services provided because of that."

Dyer said the school board had received little feedback about the budget.

"The feedback our board has gotten is just the concern that we have adequate staffing," she said. "When we downsize in staff, we also decrease the level of (Quality Based Education) funding. This year should generate a lot more QBE funding for the following year because we're replacing teachers back."

The board will also discuss standardized testing, disciplinary tribunals and board member training at today's meeting.

In addition, "the board is expected to give its nod of approval" to the Gainesville High School drug testing procedures, Dyer said.


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