Walker County Schools to hold public meetings on proposed property tax increase
Walker County residents could see an increase in what they pay in property taxes this year.
This comes after school officials announced plans to raise the millage rate by 5%.
"Based on our budget now and some additional expenditures, the board felt comfortable looking at a potential of a proposed millage increase," Superintendent Damon Raines told Channel 3.
The school district is considering 4.84% increase for home and land owners.
"The millage increase that we're proposing would just take the taxpayers back to the millage that we had three years ago," Raines explained.
Raines says the increase would go toward teacher salary raises after Governor Brian Kemp recommended a $3,000 raise for each teacher earlier this year.
"We're excited that our teachers were recognized as getting the additional increase in their salaries. (It was) long coming (and) they deserve that. So, we're very supportive of that. It did put a bit of additional pressure on the local budgets because QBE only funds typically about 60%," Raines said.
Money would also go toward replenishing the district's general fund after years of spending to make up for teacher furlough days.
"So our teachers were footing the bill for several years when the recession was in. What happened was during those years, we were utilizing our fund balance to run our budget and it's depleted itself all the way down to the point that we've got to begin to build that back up to maintain financial integrity," he continued.
Raines says after three years of rolling back property taxes, residents owning a $100,000 home are estimated to pay around $31 more a year.
He believes the investment in the school system will only help keep the district moving forward.
School officials are holding a public hearing so residents can express any opinions or concerns they may have.
It's scheduled to take place on Monday, July 15, at the Walker County Department of Education at 201 South Duke Street, LaFayette, GA 30728. The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m.
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