News Release – Proposed Property Tax Increase For DeKalb

You’ll be happy to know the safe that just landed on your head is just 8.7% heavier than it was last year.

Property Taxes

The DeKalb County School District announced last week its intention to increase property taxes this year by 8.71 percent.
When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires that a rollback millage rate must be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced.

Property Taxes

Without the tentative tax increase, the rollback millage rate will need to be no more than 21.829 mills.
Public Hearings
Before the DeKalb County Board of Education may finalize the tentative budget and set a final millage rate, Georgia law requires three public hearings to be held to allow the public opportunity to express their opinions on the increase.
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held at the Administrative & Instructional Complex, J. David Williamson Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd, Stone Mountain, Georgia
June 06, 2016
5:45pm – 2nd Public Budget Hearing
6:15pm – 1st Public Millage Rate Hearing
6:45pm – Community Input Session
If you would like to be a speaker at one of these hearings, please email Margaret Francois [] to request a slot. In your request, please include your name and contact information.

10 responses to “News Release – Proposed Property Tax Increase For DeKalb

  1. Kirk Lunde

    eBoard says –
    To address the Board for the 1st public millage rate hearing sign-up is on a first come, first serve basis, one hour before the scheduled hearing (4:30-5:30pm) in the Lobby of the Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex.
    To address the Board for the 2nd public budget hearing sign-up is on a first come, first serve basis, one hour before the scheduled hearing (4:30-5:30pm) in the Lobby of the Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex.
    Emailing Margaret is only for the Community Input Session.

  2. Why is the increase needed? What programs/activities are planned that cannot be funded with existing funds? I had hoped that Superintendent Green would bring new efficiencies to the Dekalb County School System. He has been here for a year and things just seem to be more of the same. He has brought his own management team and replaced some of the top level administrators, but none of the old ones have left – they have simply been placed in “created” jobs. I suspect that if we could get an honest review of administration costs vs. classroom costs, we would see the reason/excuse for this increase. My property taxes increased 22% for the current tax year, we have renewed the 1% ESPLOST tax for five years, and Dekalb County is wanting us to add yet another 1% to our sales tax to fix the roads. I am appalled to find out the extremely poor condition of so many of our schools – what did we do with funds provided by ESPLOST IV (Other than buy administrators new cars)? Where does this end? It ends when we, the taxpayers of Dekalb County, say NO by either getting our current representatives/school board members to say NO or we replace those who can’t seem to say NO.

  3. I don’t understand how this works. I thought we were at the maximum millage rate. Can you explain? Thanks

  4. Am I correct in thinking that the option that DCSD rejected was to reduce the millage rate from 23.98 to 21.829?
    If so, I am disappointed in this decision. DCSD already has a higher millage rate than the law allows and I think that is scandalous to continue that practice.
    30 years ago DCSD was allowed to exceed the maximum allowable millage rate of 20 mills because of some operational agreement with a junior college. That agreement has long since expired, but the high millage rate remains. is an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about why the DCSD millage rate is so high.
    I also assume this is just a rhetorical exercise. The BOE is supposed to adopt the Tentative FY17 budget on Monday. If the rollback millage rate were to be adopted, wouldn’t the whole budgeting process would have to be re-done? DCSD is already very late in that cycle.

  5. Stan Jester

    In a referendum held May 18, 1971, the voters of DeKalb County approved increasing the 20 mill limitation by 5 mills, for a total of 25 mills.
    Art. VIII – Sec VI of the Georgia Constitution says, the “school system shall [levy] a school tax not greater than 20 mills per dollar for the support and maintenance of education.”
    It also says “The mill limitation … for any school system may be increased or removed by action of the respective boards of education, but only after such action has been approved by a majority of the qualified voters.

  6. Stan Jester

    The current budget was created with the current 23.73 millage rate in mind. It was lowered from 23.98 to 23.73 last year. The board hasn’t had any meaningful discussion about the budget or the millage rate yet. How a lowered millage rate would affect the budget is debatable. I believe there is room in the budget to lower the millage rate without affecting the proposed services.

  7. Stan Jester

    Howdy, Here’s a high level summary of the increase in appropriations from FY2016 to Fy2017

  8. Stan,
    Thank you for the high level summary. Would you please share what explanations the BOE has received for the following changes from FY 2016:
    1. An increase of $1.1 million to the superintendent’s office
    2. An increase in legal affairs of $1.5 million over current budget and roughly $1.9 million over FY 2015 proposed
    3. An almost doubled budget for communications and community relations
    4. A decrease of almost $1 million in the Human Capitol management – what is being cut?
    5. An increase of $6.5 million in student support and intervention
    6. A budget that is almost double for strategic management and accountability (Can you provide examples of what is included in strategic management and accountability in addition to what rationale the BOE has received about why it needs to be doubled?)
    7. Will the $7million increase in curriculum include the much needed textbooks for most of the outdated, falling apart ones our students currently use but schools don’t have enough of for each student?
    8. What are some of the items that will be included in the $20.7 million for “regional support initiative” – in other words, what should the schools expect to see as a result of this $20millin initiative?

  9. Budget Summary
    * FY2016 Budget Summary
    * FY2017 Budget Summary
    Budget Detail
    * FY2016 Detailed Budget
    * FY2017 Detailed Budget
    The T-Sheet is the 2nd page of the Budget Summary
    AB, The budget detail delineates the line items you are referring to. In theory, you should be able to go from Budget Detail to Budget Summary to T-Sheet. Unfortunately, for various reasons, these numbers don’t always add up.

  10. Stan Jester

    $6.5 million in student support and intervention – Dr. Vasanne Tinsley is the Deputy Superintendent of Student Support & Intervention. This is what she had to say about the additional $6+ million in that division. “When the division of student support and intervention was created, one of the areas that came over was Career Technology. The Career Technology Agriculture Education budget is a large budget. The funds that come from Perkins and other federal funds as well as the personnel, that falls under the department of student advancement which was a newly created department in the division of Student Support”