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School board may drop tax rate a tad
Roger Reese
Roger Reese is chief operations officer for Liberty County Schools. - photo by File photo

The Liberty County Board of Education will consider rolling back the millage rate for 2016 property taxes.

Roger Reese, the schools’ chief operations officer, said the property tax digest increased for 2016 which requires the districts to roll back the current millage rate of 15.88 mills to 15.789 mills — a .091 mill rollback.

The board approved advertising the millage rate.

To maintain federal impact aid, the school district’s millage has to be at least 95 percent of the state average millage for Georgia school districts, Reese said. Federal impact aid is given to school districts that lose potential tax revenue because of federal activities, such as a military installation like Fort Stewart.

The state average is 16.44 mills, excluding Liberty and two other school districts that have not adopted rates yet. If set at 15.789 mills, the district will be at 96 percent of the state average.

The rate will also allow the district to collect its budgeted revenue, Reese estimated.

At 15.789 mills, gross revenue would be $20,462,893 million. With a 94 percent collection rate and 2.5 percent collection fee it decreases to approximately $18,754,241.

"When you adopted the budget back in June, I recommended a budget (from property taxes) of $20,500,000. The $18,754.241 does not include delinquent taxes, which we’ve average around $1.5 million and $2 million in delinquent taxes. So when you add delinquent taxes to what you’ll get off the millage rate of 15.789, that is what you are currently budgeted for this year," Reese said.

He then talked about when to adopt the millage rate. Originally the item was going to be on the agenda for adoption in December, but the county asked the board to vote earlier so tax bills can be sent out before Dec. 31.

Reese said most of the revenue is generated before the end of the year.

Board member Marcia Anderson pointed out that property owners usually pay property tax before the end of the year to get income tax deductions.

The board agreed to meet for a special called meeting on Nov. 28.

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