Monthly Archives: June 2019

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.

FY2020 – Tentative Budget

After numerous calls from the vice chair for a motion, the board reluctantly passed the DeKalb Schools FY2020 tentative budget. CFO Michael Bell and Interim Chief Human Capital Management Officer, Linda Woodard, also responded to some follow up budget questions from last week. Let’s go through the good, the bad and the ugly.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
6/10/2019 – DETAILED Budget (2,300 pages)
6/10/2019 – Approved Tentative Budget
5/6/2019 – Budget

RELATED POSTS
June 4, 2019 – $3,000 Raise – Q&A With The CFO
May 25, 2019 – $3,000 – Teacher Raises – Metro Atlanta
May 11, 2019 – FY2020 – Budget – No Raise For Teachers

GENERAL FUND BALANCE
We started this year (FY2018) with a fund balance of $122 million. As we close out the end of the year, it looks like we will dip into our reserves for $10 million and start next year with $112 million.

The board was hesitant to pass the tentative budget which is anticipated to draw down reserves another $28 million … up from a projected $14 million in in May.

DeKalb Schools is projected to draw reserves down to $84 million by the end of FY2020.

STATE QBE FUNDING
FY2020 State QBE funds are $22 million more than last year. However, Dekalb Schools FTE numbers have gone from 100,648 to 99,837 which accounts for a large drop in QBE funding.

Using the old QBE formula, state revenues would be roughly $487 million. The Governor/Legislature bumped up QBE giving the school district roughly $28 million to $35 million that it wouldn’t have otherwise had.

SALARY ADJUSTMENTS
The administration is requesting that we use $28 million for a $3,000 supplemental raise for certified staff as requested by the governor and legislated in HB 31.

An additional $12 million will be appropriated to fully fund a full year of the certified staff salary adjustments made last January.

It is anticipated that $5 million will be needed to fund the classified staff salary adjustments coming out later this month.

Linda Woodard
FOLLOW UP Q&A

Linda Woodard
Interim Chief Human Capital Management Officer
.

DeKalb Schools CFO Michael Bell

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

Q: Are Speech and Language Pathologists included in HB31 that the state intended raises for?

Linda Woodard: No. However, Speech and Language Pathologists are on Certified Schedule Z with Counselors and have been budgeted to receive the increase (From HCM).

Q: What is meant by “earned” employee regarding the state funding?

Linda Woodard: “Earned” employees are those that are fully certified by the state’s Professional Standards Commission

Michael Bell: Our students actually earn FTE. The State pays the value of the FTE in the category reported, Xs the total number FTEs impacting QBE payments.

Q: How many certified teachers do we have on the teacher salary schedules? How many of them are “earned certified teachers”?

Linda Woodard & Michael Bell: There are 6,673 Teachers on Schedule E as of March 2019. The number considered earned is 6,095 (recommendation is to visit QBE in Finance (DoE Website) for exact earnings). *7,291 total employees on the E Schedule.

Q: Can you tell me more about non earned certified teachers on the teacher salary schedule? I don’t understand why we have them, how they are used or from what funds they are paid from.

Linda Woodard: Non-earned certified teachers are those that are working towards certification and have enough certification credentials that is allowed by the state. They are typically fully certified within 3 years depending on their specific cases

Michael Bell: Non QBE earned certified teachers operate within certain District programs that are FTE funded back at the Home School. The specific staff at the following programs are therefore locally funded:

Science Centers
International Student Centers
Technology Centers
Other Full Site Programs and Programs located within Schools

Some programs have secondary funding sources such as State/Federal or private grants – which usually do not cover the full costs.

Q: How many employees total are on teacher salary schedules?

Linda Woodard: 7,291 employees on E Salary Schedule What types of employees are not certified teachers that are on the teacher salary schedules?

Behavior Interventionist
Interpreter for the Deaf
Nurse, School (Special Ed)
Nurse, School Coordinating
Spec. II, Stud Supp (non-cert)
Specialist, Instructional FSC

Q: What schedules are psychologists, counselors, social workers, special education specialists and speech/language pathologists on?

Linda Woodard: Schedule Z (currently 1% higher than teacher rate) for Audiologist, Diagnostician, Liaison, Special Ed Behavior, Counselor, Psychologist, Social Worker, Teacher, Speech/Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist and Physical Therapist. Schedule LT for Lead Teacher Special Education

Q: What other types of employees are on the schedules with psychologists, counselors, social workers, special education specialists and speech/language pathologists?

Linda Woodard: Audiologist, Diagnostician, Liaison, Special Ed Behavior, Teacher, Occupational Therapy and Teacher, Physical Therapy