Paulding school board will hear from the public this month after approving a tentative 2020 budget with a property tax rate that will generate more revenue than in 2019 because of rising property values.

The board has set public hearings for June 18 at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., and June 25 at 8 a.m. on a tax increase which came about after the board approved a tentative 2020 budget which assumed a property tax rate of 18.879 mills.

Board spokesman Jay Dillon said the school board “has not made a final decision regarding” the tax rate.

The board approved a tentative budget “which did not modify” the property tax rate in anticipation of hosting public hearings on a possible property tax increase, Dillon said.

“The board is interested in hearing community feedback regarding the (property tax) rate,” Dillon said.

The notifications about public hearings on the budget were based on the most current version of the 2020 budget, which is the tentative budget, Dillon said.

“However, the tentative version of the budget may not reflect the ultimate decision of the board,” Dillon said.

The county’s net tax digest increased this year by 9.5% compared to 2018, rising from $4.08 billion in 2018 to $4.47 billion in 2019, according to information from the school board.

The net tax digest is the total value of all taxable property in the county after exemptions are taken out.

Though the property tax rate of 18.879 mills is the same one funding the 2019 schools budget, it will generate 8.6% more in revenue for the 2020 budget because of increased property assessments countywide.

According to the “Notice of Property Tax Increase” the board was required to publish, the proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $180,000 is approximately $103.88. The proposed tax increase for property without a homestead exemption with a fair market value of $180,000 is approximately $106.85, the notice stated.

A full rollback property tax rate of 17.395 mills would generate the same amount of revenue as the 2019 budget. State law requires public hearings unless a full rollback is planned.

The tax rate for schools is about 60 percent of the overall property tax bill for Paulding residents. The remainder funds the county government, sheriff’s office, fire and rescue department and other needs and services.

Paulding’s tax digest has increased at least 8.8 percent every year except one since 2014, according to information from the school board.

County Chief Assessor James Stokes told the Paulding County Commission last week the average market value of a Paulding home has more than doubled since 2010 — increasing from $110,000 in 2010 to $215,000 this year.

The tentative 2020 schools budget of $295.7 million is a 7.3% increase from $275.6 million in 2019.

Current projections include at least 59 new classroom positions — teachers, paraprofessionals and special education support positions — which is projected to keep class sizes at current levels.

The school board is set to vote on its property tax rate at meetings separate from the planned budget approval meeting June 11 at 6:15 p.m., Dillon said.

The June 18 and 25 public hearings on the tax rate are set for the Paulding County School District headquarters building at 3236 Atlanta Hwy. in Dallas.

For more information, call 770-443-8000 or visit https://www.paulding.k12.ga.us.

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