Category Archives: Budget

Notice of Property Tax Increase

Your property tax bill is going up this year. If you live in Unicorporated DeKalb (not in a city), on average your taxes are increasing 6.7% this year. The increase property evaluations this year for cities (incorporated DeKalb) is surprising.

PROPERTY TAX BILL CALCULATION
Your DeKalb Schools Tax Bill = ([Property Value] x [Assessment Rate]) – Exemptions) x [Millage Rate]
[Property Value] is the full market value appraised by the Assessors.
[Assessment Rate] is 40% for all properties in Georgia
DeKalb Schools [Millage Rate]: 23.18/1000 (county and cities have additional millage rates)

TAX INCREASES IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
This is the total expected tax increases (including county, city, school and exemptions) on average in your area.

DeKalb Municipality Total Property Taxes Increase
UNINCORPORATED 6.7%
AVONDALE 0.7%
BROOKHAVEN -0.4%
CHAMBLEE 8.5%
CLARKSTON 21.9%
DUNWOODY 1.2%
DORAVILLE 0.9%
LITHONIA -8.0%
PINE LAKE 2.2%
STONE MTN 16.5%
TUCKER 6.9%
STONECREST 7.8%

Including new development, property tax collections are increasing by 6.82%. In order for the school district to collect the same revenue as last year, they would need to roll back (decrease) the millage rate by 1.477 mills. Spending is out of control at the school district, so I do not anticipate any millage rate decreases this year.

I’m surprised that Avondale and Dunwoody will see very little tax increases this year. I’m astonished that Brookhaven taxes on average will be going down this year. I wonder if these areas were overestimated last year and this is a correction. Tax assessors will be at next Tuesday’s County Commissioner FAB meeting, I’ll see if I can introduce myself and get some answers.

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 6.81 percent.

All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held at 11:30 a.m. June 10, 2019, DeKalb County School District J. David Williamson Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain, Georgia

Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase are at:

6:15 p.m. June 10, 2019, DeKalb County School District J. David Williamson Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain, Georgia

6:15 p.m. June 25, 2019, DeKalb County School District J. David Williamson Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain, Georgia

This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 23.18 mills, an increase of 1.477 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 21.703 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $250,000 is approximately $129.24 and the proposed tax increase for nonhomestead property with a fair market value of $400,000 is approximately $236.32.

$3,000 Raise – Q&A With The CFO

Chief Financial Officer Michael Bell answers a few questions we have regarding the $3,000 raise for certified employees.

DeKalb Schools CFO Michael Bell

Dr. Michael Bell
Dekalb Schools Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Q1: Did the state give us funding for $2,775 or $3,000 per employee?

The State raised all salary slots on the State Salary Schedule by $3,000 and has given us $3,000 for all earned certified teachers, school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, media specialists, special education specialists, and technology specialists.

Q2: Who did the state give us extra funding for? Did they give us funding for all certified employees including psychologists, counselors, social workers and special education specialists?

Language from HB31:
Increase funds to adjust the state base salary schedule to increase salaries for certified teachers and certified staff by $3,000, including a $3,000 increase for school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, media specialists, special education specialists, and technology specialists effective July 1, 2019.

Note: These increases are for employees the State considers “earned.”

Q3: FTE is going from 100,648 for FY19 to 99,837 for FY20. What kind of savings are we going to realize due to this reduction in provided services? Where is this reflected in the budget?

There have been no imputed savings in the FY2020 Budget based upon the projected FTE decline, assuming a reduction in provided services. It should be noted that FY2020 is the fourth year of projected FTE declines.

Q4: The state DOE says our QBE funds were bumped up by $35 million for the $3,000 increase in teacher salaries. Is that true?

Not that we can ascertain. Our QBE growth for FY2020 is presently $22,092,701; this could indicate that we have already experienced QBE decline based upon FTE decline.
If the state used the same funding formula as last year, would we have received $35 million less due to the reduction in FTE?

Based upon the assumption in your question, yes. However, the State seldom uses the same monetary value for base FTE, (9 thru 12 1.00).

Q5: Seems like the state would work on allotments.

They do not. They work on FTE for most positions and an allotment system for other necessary positions.

Q5 Continued: Is the state funding dependent on how many employees are employed with the school district?

No, except for T&E and health insurance.

Q6: When can we expect to see a detailed budget?

The 36-page document (Tentative Budget) has been distributed on 6/3/19. After the Tentative Budget is acted upon (6/10/19), pending any changes, we will produce the 2100 page detailed FY2020 Budget by 6/13/19.

Q7: We are talking about supplemental salaries for all employees on the teacher salary schedule.

Did the state increase funding enough for psychologists, counselors, social workers and sped specialists? All over the AJC I find statements that say … “The House budget would raise salaries for teachers by $2,775, but it extends that pay raise to more than 9,000 other certified employees including psychologists, counselors, social workers and special education specialists.”

What are your thoughts?

The State gave funding for all EARNED certified employees which includes the groups mentioned in your email. However, we employ significantly more employees than the State considers “earned.”

-Dr. Michael Bell

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Q&A Between Marshall Orson and Michael Bell

Orson: How do we lose 128 teachers based on a reduction of just 800 students?

Bell: We lost QBE funding in an amount that translates to 128 teachers. This amount varies based on the dollar values associated with each category of FTE (ie gifted vs. general). This reduction is due to the reduction of overall FTEs.

Orson: Am I reading correctly that we are receiving a net addl $25 million and change (once we figure additions due to the budget increase and subtractions due to smaller allotments)?

Bell: FY2020 Additional QBE Funding – $22,092,201

RELATED POSTS

$3,000 – Teacher Raises Around Metro Atlanta
May 25, 2019 – What are Metro Atlanta school districts doing about the $3,000 per teacher raise Governor Brian Kemp gave to all Georgia public school districts to pass along to their teachers? Dekalb Schools FY2020 Tentative Budget, presented a few weeks ago, did not include that raise for teachers. However, DeKalb Schools Board of Education members have been meeting with senior administrators over the last few days to figure out how to get that money into the hands of the teachers.