School system OKs millage rate for 2014
by Celia Shortt
The Coweta County Board of Education has approved maintaining its millage rate of 18.59 mills for 2014.
However, that tax millage rate will be bringing in slightly more revenue than last year, due to an increased county digest of property values.
“It’s nice to see a little rise in the digest this year,” said Keith Chapman, Coweta School System’s assistant superintendent for financial services, Tuesday at the monthly school board meeting.
This year’s county property tax digest is expected to be almost $4 billion. Overall, the school system expects to see a 2.74 percent increase in the amount it receives from property taxes due to the increased tax digest.
The increase in expected tax proceeds is over what the school system would receive if it implemented a “rollback” tax rate to keep proceeds at the same level.
Prior to approving the 2014 millage rate, the school board was required to hold three public hearings in order to allow members of the public to voice their opinion about maintaining the millage rate of 18.59 mills.
The public hearings were held at the Board of Education Office at 237 Jackson St. on Aug. 4 at 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and Aug. 12, at 6 p.m.
The increase in value for the county’s tax digest is a result of many properties in Coweta County being assessed at a higher value this year.
In the information sent out by the school system before the public hearings, even with this increase, the 2014 net maintenance and operations digest still remains below the level of the 2009 net maintenance and operations digest – before the economic downturn.
Every year, the Board of Tax Assessors for Coweta County reviews the assessed value of taxable property in the county, as a requirement by the state.
When the trend of prices for properties recently sold in the county demonstrate an increase in the fair market value the tax assessors are required to “re-determine the value of such property and increase the assessment.” This action is called a reassessment.
According to Georgia law, once the total digest of taxable property is completed, a rollback millage rate must be determined. This rollback rate would produce the same total revenue “on the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred,” according to Coweta school officials.