City Schools of Decatur will consider adopting budget, lowering tax rate

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt June 8, 2015
City Schools of Decatur Board of Education. File Photo by Carey O'Neil

City Schools of Decatur Board of Education. File Photo by Carey O’Neil

City Schools of Decatur Board of Education members will consider adopting a $57.3 million budget at their regular meeting on Tuesday, June 9.

At that same meeting, board members will consider tentatively lowering the tax rate for schools from 20.5 mills to 19.5 mills. However, because property values are increasing overall, it is still technically a tax increase.

“At this time, the District has been provided with information from the DeKalb County Tax Assessors office which shows that the tax digest would increase by approximately 19.03 percent if the millage rate remained at 20.50 mills,” the CSD meeting agenda says. “This would be an increase in the taxes received by the District of approximately $5.3 million. A millage rate of 19.50, a reduction of 1 mill, would be a 13.23 percent increase to the tax digest and $3.6 mill increase in the anticipated tax revenues.”

If the School Board lowers the millage, it would be the second time it has done so in two years. Last year, CSD reduced the millage from 20.9 mills to 20.5.

The city of Decatur is also considering lowering the tax rate of city taxes, from 13 mills to 12. Both the city and school system are reducing their millage rates ahead of a vote that would ask voters to approve borrowing $75 million for school construction, including expansion of the high school and middle school. Borrowing that money would require voters to raise their own taxes by as much as 8 percent.

According to an example provided by CSD, it would raise taxes on a $500,000 home by $680 per year.

The $57.3 million Fiscal Year 2016 budget will exceed projected revenues by $2.2 million, and CSD will make up the difference using its reserves. The budget will add 26 new teacher and support positions.

The School Board meeting will begin at 6:30 pm at 125 Electric Avenue Decatur, GA 30030. All meetings are open to the public.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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