The Hall County Board of Education will pursue a property tax increase to fund its fiscal year 2020 budget, and has scheduled three public hearings in June on the matter.
The board has tentatively adopted a budget with $270 million in general fund expenses.
Hall County Schools is currently operating on an approximately $259 million general fund budget. State law requires the public hearings on the proposed increase.
The budget includes about $2 million to hire more teachers to manage student enrollment growth and special education needs.
A “significant increase” in professional learning activities, materials and personnel to support the school district’s literacy programs requires additional funding, according to Superintendent Will Schofield.
Schofield previously told The Times that additional revenues and expenses in the county budget were largely tied to teacher pay raises, about $3,000 per certified educator, the state is funding. Schofield said he also expects more than $1 million in state funding for ongoing school safety enhancements.
The proposed budget actually includes a reduction in the property tax rate, but not enough to avoid what is considered a tax increase.
Board members have proposed setting the rate at 17.8 mills, down from the current rate of 18.2, but still 4.41% higher than the full rollback rate of 17.049. The full rollback rate is the mechanism under state law that allows systems to avoid a hike by accounting for increases in revenue from property tax reassessments.
Hall County Schools 2020 fiscal year budget
What: Public hearings on proposed budget and property tax increase
When: 6 p.m. June 10; 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. June 24
Where: Hall County School District central office, 711 Green St., Gainesville