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Camden Board of Education

Camden Co. Schools to maintain property tax rate, public hearing scheduled

Camden County Board of Education announced at their Tuesday meeting that they would need to maintain the current property tax rate at 16.000 mills.

Last year, the school district lost eligibility for Federal Impact Aid for the number of federally connected students; the district was short by 12 federally impacted students. At that time, the Board voted to increase the millage rate from 15.907 to 16.000 mills to maintain eligibility for future Federal Impact Aid requirements.

Announced at the meeting, student enrollment on the 9th day of school for 2018 was 9,267. Last year, it was  9,164 students. It is not known if the school district has met the enrollment requirement for Federal Impact criteria at this time. A true enrollment count will occur sometime later this fall.

Now, the Board needs to maintain the 16.000 millage rate. If the district does not maintain the 16.000 millage rate, the rate will roll back to 15.528 mills which is out of reach to stay in compliance with future Federal Impact Aid requirements.

According to the Board agenda item detail, [t]he average millage rate in Georgia for 2017 was 16.345.  The 95% threshold for local tax effort based on 2017 rates is 15.528 (16.345 X 95%).  The tax rate for the 2018 digest must exceed the projected 15.528 threshold to meet eligibility requirements to receive federal Impact Aid funds as a Heavily Impacted district.  The 95% threshold is .142 mills above the rollback rate.  Therefore, the rollback rate could disqualify the district from receiving heavily impacted funds even if requirements for federal enrollment and per-pupil expenditures are met.

Often, the state’s average millage rates fluctuate each year, and the school district must review the rates yearly to stay in compliance with the federal impact aid formula due to the presence of Kings Bay SUBASE. According to the agenda item detail, Board of Education staff is “recommending a millage rate less than the current 16.000 mills would be fiscally irresponsible.”

Therefore, by Georgia law, the school district must announce a public hearing for a property tax increase because the district must advertise a “millage increase” since 16.000 mills is greater than the “roll-back” rate.

The following is the timeline for the property tax advertising and hearing schedule-

August 14 –     Tentative adoption
August 16 –     Advertisements will run in the Tribune and Georgian showing the 5 year & current year digest history; notifications of tax increase and hearing dates;
August 27         9 AM  Hearing 1
August 27         6 PM Hearing 2
August 30         Advertisements –  notifications of tax increase and hearing dates;
September 7     Noon Hearing 3
September 11   6 PM (Scheduled monthly BOE meeting) adoption of millage rate


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Jeremy Spencer grew up in rural South Georgia and has served as a healthcare provider, high school science teacher, school administrator, and state education official. Jeremy is currently the market and content manager for All on Georgia-Camden and Glynn Counties. Jeremy’s focus is local news, statewide education issues, and statewide political commentary for the All on Georgia News Network. Jeremy has served as an education policy analyst for local legislators and state education leaders as well as a campaign strategist for local and statewide political campaigns. Jeremy holds degrees in science and education from the University of Georgia, Piedmont College, and Valdosta State University. Jeremy has lived in Camden County for over 17 years.

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