DeKalb Notice of Property Tax Increase

DeKalb Schools administration is recommending to the Board no change in the millage rate for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The millage rate was 23.08 mills last year and that is what the Administration is requesting the Board approve again.

Holding the millage rate constant will result in higher revenues to the school district due to the growth in the tax digest. Because the district will receive more funds, even with no millage rate increase, state law requires the district to advertise this as a tax increase. The notice gives you what the “roll back rate” would need to be to hold revenues equal to last year’s. The roll back rate is 22.159 mils.

Local Taxation for Education
It is important to note that DeKalb Schools’ millage rate is already one of the highest in the state. It is above the legal limit set by Art. VIII – Sec VI of the Georgia Constitution which says, the “school system shall annually certify to its fiscal authority or authorities a school tax not greater than 20 mills per dollar for the support and maintenance of education.”

The cap in DeKalb was raised by public referendum to 25 mills years ago when the county ran DeKalb College. The school later became Georgia Perimeter College and was taken over by the state. Even though the liability for running the college was removed from DeKalb, the additional taxing increment remained.

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE

The DeKalb County School District has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 4.16 percent.

This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 23.08 mills, an increase of 0.921 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 22.159 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $250,000 is approximately $80.59 and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $400,000 is approximately $147.36.

All concerned citizens are invited to three virtual millage hearings on this tax increase to be held at:

  • 10:00 a.m. July 13, 2020
  • 6:01 p.m. July 13, 2020
  • 10:00 a.m. July 20, 2020

To speak in the virtual meeting, please call 678-676-0722 or email budget_info@dekalbschoolsga.org prior to noon on Friday, 7/10/2020 to sign up (deadline to speak for July 20th meeting is noon on Friday, July 17th). Details as to how to speak in the public hearing by virtual technology will also be made available on the District’s website prior to the time of the hearing at www.dekalbschoolsga.org.

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Property Assessment Freeze
Residents in DeKalb County that receive the benefit of homestead exemption may also apply for a property assessment freeze to help offset future increases in property value. This freeze does not affect school, city or state taxes. Residents who currently have homestead exemption must apply for this freeze, however new applicants applying for exemption will receive the benefit of the freeze with their exemption. Once the Freeze Level is set, it cannot be “re-frozen” at a lower level regardless of changes in assessment. Residents must qualify for this freeze by April 1.

6 responses to “DeKalb Notice of Property Tax Increase

  1. Stan I’m glad that you published the mill rate information and the inflated amount we have been paying for years since DeKalb College was absorbed by the state. It is very disheartening to me that our finances have been given a blind eye during that time. Honestly, our facilities and teacher pay should be second to none given the extra money. I really hope the new Superintendent and Board can finally do a full audit and get control of the budget. Thanks again for your work on behalf of the students and citizens of DeKalb County.

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  2. Legitimate question: Won’t all government entities have less in the way of tax revenue this year due to the Covid shutdown domino effect? Does this increase only address property tax? Sales tax revenues will be way down. Not questioning anything, just trying to get the full picture.

  3. Stan Jester

    Hello @Jess. There are various revenue streams. The big streams are property taxes, sales tax, state revenue and federal revenue. The states and feds, as you probably know, have their various revenue streams. The millage rate just affects property tax revenues. DeKalb County tax assessors are saying that the DeKalb County tax digest will grow this year due to existing values of properties increasing as well as improvements to existing properties making the property more expensive. There is some speculation that collections on property taxes will be lower/slower than normal.

    I believe sales tax revenues in general are down. Education SPLOST is on food too, and grocery sales are up. So, sales taxes aren’t down as much as you might think.

  4. So if the tax digest grows, DCSD will actually get more revenue than last year if they maintain the current millage rate, right? DCSD has been adverse to rolling back the millage rate in the past and that seems the case now too – would be nice during these hard economic times for the citizens to be able to catch a break. DCSD has the ability to tighten its belt if only it would. The school system should be in much better shape than we are having collected extra funds all these years but DCSD has managed to mishandle it. As Pat points out, DCSD was given permission for a higher millage rate due to DeKalb College. When it was no longer the responsibility of DCSD to fund DeKalb College, DCSD should no longer have been able to maintain the elevated millage rate.

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  5. i am outraged at the increase and the timing of the first two meeting, everyone was focused on the re-opening plan and it seems convenient that these tax meetings were right before and right after the announcement that we will have to continue with virtual learning from home. Where is the outrage in this? My taxes keep going up but now the schools are not even open to my kids and the virtual platforms we have had since March for the kids are garbage?

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  6. Michelle Fincher

    I just want to clarify that “Michelle F” is not me. I’m getting texts and emails about the above comment from people thinking it is me. I use my full name when I comment, thanks!

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