MCSD announces increased millage rate proposal to offset budget cuts during pandemic

MCSD announces increased millage rate proposal to offset budget cuts during pandemic

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Some homeowners in Muscogee County could see an increase in the amount of money they pay in property taxes because of impacts from the coronavirus.

The Muscogee County School District (MCSD) holds public hearings each year as they decide on whether to keep the millage rate the same or change it.

Increasing the millage rate, which impacts property taxes, is one way the district is considering finding additional funding needed during the pandemic. Muscogee County School Board Chair Pat Hugley-Green said this will be a very costly year for public education with statewide budget cuts.

”We will experience approximately $16 million shortfall in our budget, and so the superintendent is looking at all options as we try to balance the budget,” the District 1 representative said.

One option the superintendent is considering to bring in additional funding is increasing the mill rate, or one dollar for $1,000 your property is worth, which is used to determine how much home owners pay in property taxes. The increase would bring the millage rate up by .917 mills to 24.32 mills, which would require a maximum property tax increase of 3.92 percent.

“If we increase the mill rate, there is an example that is sent. The home owners property whose fair market value is $125,000 would pay approximately $33.47 more if the board agrees to any changes with the current mill rate,” Hugley-Green explained.

She said the board of education’s language used in the notice of property tax increase is a requirement they follow every year.

“In layman’s term, it could possibly mean the revenue the property taxes would be increased for the city and for the school board as a taxing authority if the economy yields itself to show an increase in property value,” Hugley-Green said.

Before the district can set a final millage rate, whether it changes or not, Georgia law requires there to be three public hearings. The district will hold these meetings via Zoom July 13 at 5 p.m. and July 20 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The millage rate for the 2021 fiscal year will be set at the evening meeting July 20.

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