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Gainesville schools tentatively approve tax rate
Board member Smith calls millage 'significant decrease for the taxpayers'
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Gainesville City Schools plans to lower the millage rate in the city.

The city’s property tax millage rate has been 7.48 mills, but city rollback calculations put the tax rate closer to 6.89. A tentative millage rate at 6.89 mills for fiscal year 2015-2016 was approved by the city school board at the board’s regular meeting Monday.

Chris Griner, chief financial officer for Gainesville City Schools, reminded the school board that the budget was adopted back in June, but the school system was waiting on the city’s calculations before making decisions about the millage rate.

The school district had some revenues that were not previously budgeted, which Griner said makes a rollback possible, including the Title Ad Valorem Tax. The district received roughly $960,000 from that tax in fiscal year 2015.

“From a revenue standpoint, I don’t feel like it will hurt us if the decision is made to roll back because of these additional items we didn’t budget for previously,” Griner said prior to the board’s vote.

With the adoption of the tentative millage rate, the district will advertise the rate for a minimum of 14 days. It will then go back to the board for a final vote at the board’s next work session Tuesday, Sept. 8.

School board member Sammy Smith asked Griner how comfortable he felt, on a scale of one to 10, with a 6.89 millage rate. Superintendent Wanda Creel answered “9.5.”

“(The TAVT) has continued to increase since it was adopted,” Griner said. “Our trends already this year show that I think we’ll make more than the $960,000 from the Title Ad Valorem Tax ... So I feel comfortable with it.”

Smith added his satisfaction with the ability to lower the millage rate by .59 mills.

“This is a significant decrease for the taxpayers,” Smith said.

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