EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – The second month of posting and readings for the Millage Rate from Gilmer’s Board of Education saw no public comments before Thursday night’s meeting.
With no comment, the board continued forward with a recommendation from Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs to adopt the Rollback Rate dropping the Millage Rate from 14.248 to 13.963. Advertised since last month’s meeting, the board spoke on finances with the Millage Rate, this month, alongside the budget meetings after delays from the state due to COVID-19.
This week also saw the board‘s last public comments meeting for the 2020-2021 budget, also with no comments from the public. No longer needing monthly spending resolutions, the board will finally be moving forward with the remaining 10 months of the fiscal year with an established budget as the item received unanimous approval during Thursday’s meeting.
Discussions have gone on over the last few months over this budget and Millage Rate, the board has discussed needs and funding in the budget with cuts, changes, and shortfalls coming from the state funding. Some in the public expected increases in the Millage Rate to make up for the difference in the state funding.
This week saw the rollback rate agenda item return with very little discussion from the board and short review of the tax history. The board moved to adopt the rollback to keep in line with collections.
The budget also slightly decreased through its estimate compared to June’s Financial Summary that saw the final month of the FY 2019-2020 budget with expenditures at $44,732,231. The tentative budget that has now been approved as the 2021 Budget indicates and estimation of $41,575,332 total expenditures.
The budget is set for the school system, but the Millage Rate will now move on to a special called meeting of the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners who are currently expected to approve the Millage Rate as approved by the school along with their own Rollback Rate Monday, August 24, 2020. Being held at 10:00 a.m., the Board of Commissioners are also considering a rollback to their Debt-Service-paying “Bond Millage Rate” by 0.25 mills.
While the Bond Millage is expected to provide a reduction in many citizens property taxes, Tax Assessments are individual to the property. Rollback Rates also look to collect the same taxes as the entity, be it the county or the school system, did last year despite increases in property values.