ALBANY, Ga. -- The Dougherty County School System has announced two public hearings to discuss a 'property tax increase' on Monday at noon and 6 p.m. in the school administration building board room.
A final public hearing is set for July 9 at 5 p.m.
DCSS officials stressed that the current 18.445 millage rate is not going up and county property owners will not be paying more in tax for the school system if their property value is the same as last year.
"Because the taxable property tax digest for Dougherty County has increased, the property tax generated by the 18.445 mills next fiscal year is estimated to be greater than the property tax this year," DCSS Finance Director Ken Dyer said.
"When this is the case, the Board of Education is required by state law to advertise it as a tax increase even when the millage rate actually remains the same."
The increase in the tax digest will generate an additional $400,000 for the school system in FY 2013. That would also lower the milliage rate to 18.386, meaning the BOE would have to rollback the rate from the current 18.455. To maintain the current rate will require a 'tax increase' of .059 mills.
"I think it's important to note that when the tax digest declined each of the past four years, the BOE did not raise the milliage rate to make up for the loss in property taxes generated," said Dyer. "In fact, even with the expected increase in total property tax revenue over last year, property tax revenue for 2012 is still expected to be $3,389,506 less than what was generated in 2008."
The 'tax increase' on a home with a fair market value of $100,000 is approximately $2.36, and $3.54 on a nonhomestead property with a fair market value of $150,000.
Dyer urged any property owners who are confused or have questions about this administrative move, to attend one of the three public hearings.