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BoE tax bills may go up
Millage rate same; assessments will set amount
Jason Rogers
Jason Rogers - photo by Photo provided.
The Liberty County Board of Education announced its intention to keep a millage rate of 15.66, which is the same as last year. However, as property values slightly increase due to possible inflation, property owners may see an increase of as much as 4.22 percent in their property taxes allocated to education funds.
 In accordance with Georgia state law, the BoE is required to hold three open forums dedicated to educating and fielding questions from the public regarding the tax increase.
Tuesday morning, Assistant Superintendent of Liberty County Schools Jason Rogers led the first public meeting to inform residents; however, no citizens attended to voice concern or seek answers.
Rogers said the BoE is in need of any money coming from local property taxes because, like many businesses and organizations, they are experiencing a serious budget cut. The budget tightening comes as Gov. Sonny Perdue issued reductions in state funds earlier this year. Liberty County is projecting a loss of about $2.5 million.
Money raised by property taxes is important to the BOE because it is not only the largest source of local revenue coming in, it also accounts for about 19 percent of total revenues received.
Rogers said this money is used for a variety of things including increasing transportation costs and ensuring music, art and physical education programs remain in every Liberty County school. It’s also used to offer teacher supplements on top of state-provided salary funds.
“It’s important because then we have the ability to recruit and retain good, quality teachers,” he said.
Rogers, in an attempt to unravel sticky tax laws, also said as a military town, Liberty County receives a lot of its federal funds through Impact Aid, which requires the BoE to uphold a certain millage rate.
“In order to receive the heavily impacted portion of Impact Aid, we have to maintain a millage rate at 95 percent or more than the current state average,” Rogers said. “This generally amounts to about three or four million a year.”
This ensures that local revenue generators maintain a certain level of responsibility for their school system rather than completely relying on federal money.
The last two meetings will be at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Nov. 18, at the Liberty County Board of Education boardroom.
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