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Lower school rate wont drop Gainesville tax bills
Missing state grant may drive property taxes up for most
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Most Gainesville homeowners will see a larger property tax bill on their primary residences this fall despite a potentially lower school board millage rate.

Although the Gainesville school board is set to reduce the millage rate by 0.1 mills, the potential property tax decrease will not be enough to offset the unfunded Homeowner’s Tax Relief Grant.

For a $200,000 home, the school board’s property tax reduction means a $20 decrease in taxes, assuming homeowners do not qualify for any tax exemptions. The city’s portion of the property tax rate is unchanged from last year.

Gainesville Administrative Services Director Melody Marlowe said the school board’s tax decrease is not enough to offset state legislators’ move to not fund the Homeowner’s Tax Relief Grant for 2009.

If Gainesville homeowners received the grant last year, it saved them between $17.44 and $76.80 on their tax bill, Marlowe said.

Those homeowners will not receive those savings this year.

Gainesville schools Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said the system is able to reduce its tax rate slightly because it is dealing with a budget deficit of about $780,000 deficit instead of an anticipated $3.4 million deficit.

“We want to, in good faith, do what we can to lower taxes,” she said.

Last fall, the school board raised property taxes more than 12 percent.

The Gainesville Board of Education plans to adopt the final millage rate at noon meeting Oct. 7 in the central office board room at 508 Oak St.