The Bulloch County Board of Education announced recently its intention to increase the 2023 property taxes it will levy this year by 16.07 percent over the rollback millage rate.
The Board is expected to vote on its maintenance and operations (M&O) millage rate at a special called session on August 18, at 12 noon. In preparation for the final adoption, Superintendent of Schools Charles Wilson will recommend that the Board tentatively adopt a millage rate of 8.478 mills at its July 27 work session, up from its previous rate of 8.263 mills. This will be followed by three public hearings on August 10 and 17.
“After receiving the 2023 tax digest from the Bulloch County Tax Assessor’s Office and consulting with the school district’s legal counsel, we determined that the Board of Education will not be able to roll back the millage rate,” Wilson said.
In accordance with Georgia law (OCGA 20-2-165), boards of education must maintain an equivalent millage rate of at least 14 mills to prevent a loss of their state equalization grant funding. Currently, Bulloch County Schools’ state equalization grant funding totals more than $7.4 million. For Bulloch County Schools, the 14-mill calculation requirement is composed of the property tax millage rate that the Board must adopt annually along with the equivalent mills produced by the Local Option Sales Tax that the school district collects for maintenance and operations purposes.
“Based upon the value of the 2023 tax digest, a complete rollback of the district’s millage rate would be 7.304 mills, which when combined with the imputed value of Local Option Sales Tax collections of 5.522 mills, equates to only 12.826 mills, which is below the state’s legal threshold,” Wilson added.
Therefore the Bulloch County Board of Education intends to adopt an equivalent millage that is at least 14 mills and secure the school district’s state equalization funding.”
Public Hearings – Proposed Property Tax Increase
Due to the nature of the millage rate rollback process, this action will effectively constitute an increase in property taxes. All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held in the boardroom of the Bulloch County Board of Education at 150 Williams Road, Statesboro, Georgia, on Thursday, August 10, at 12 noon, and Thursday, August 17, at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Review of Assessed Value of Taxable Property
Each year, the Bulloch County Board of Assessors is required to review the assessed value for property tax purposes of taxable property in the county. When the trend of prices on properties that have recently sold in the county indicate there has been an increase in the fair market value of any specific property, the board of assessors is required by law to re-determine the value of such property and adjust the assessment. This is called a reassessment. When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires a rollback millage rate to be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred.