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Dalton Public Schools to Increase Taxes

The Dalton Board of Education has tentatively approved to continue with an operating millage rate of 8.20 mills. This would be the seventh consecutive year with the same operating millage rate.

The digest shows 1.2 percent growth or $357,000 of increased tax revenue for the school district. The improved tax digest is a result of additions, expansions and redevelopment within the City.

With the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the school district like most entities, is faced with an economic contraction. For fiscal year 2021, state revenue sources will decrease $3.7 million or 7.5 percent. The federal government approved a one-time stimulus package known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help offset these losses in funding. Dalton will receive over $1.9 million in CARES funding, but overall the district's budget will show a decrease of $2.4 million or 2.8 percent in funding sources.

The fiscal year 2021 budget with its CARES funding, has been strategically designed to be able to reopen schools, even with a modified scheduled, while the community contends with COVID-19. The budget includes increased funds for more frequent cleaning and disinfecting of facilities and surfaces. Additional protective supplies are being purchased for students and staff, such as face masks and an increased number of hand sanitizer stations. The budget includes adding part-time health screeners to be able to proactively take the temperature of students and staff, as well as conducting the health screening survey. The board also approved a Coronavirus Prevention and Response Coordinator that would be an addition to the nursing contract with the Whitfield County Health Department.

The annual operating budget of $81 million for the upcoming fiscal year 2021 has expenditures exceeding revenues by nearly $2.3 million thus using fund balance to cover the difference. In order to reduce costs because of a loss in funding, all employees will have a two-day reduction to their work year calendars. Continuing the millage rate of 8.20 mills, funds the fiscal year 2021 budget to support the district's efforts to improve academic performance and social emotional competencies.

The City of Dalton property owners will continue to see the debt service millage rate of 0.57 mills on their tax bills for the General Obligation Bond approved by the voters in November 2017 for the new Hammond Creek Middle School. Hammond Creek Middle School for 6th and 7th grade students, in conjunction with a grade configuration change at the secondary level, will help reduce the large enrollment at the current Dalton Middle and Dalton High schools. Construction for Hammond Creek Middle School is well underway with an opening anticipated in 2021.

Historically, the school millage was 8.70 mills in 2005. At that time the board was able to decrease the millage rate over a four-year period to 7.845 mills. The board held the millage rate at 7.845 mills for six years during the previous recession even though the number of students being educated by Dalton Public Schools grew by 14 percent. In fiscal year 2015, the board approved to increase the millage to the current rate of 8.20 mills as it took steps in restoring instructional positions and programs to meet the needs of students.


City of Dalton Board of Education

Estimated 2020 Tax Digest and Five Year History of Levy

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
REAL AND PERSONAL3,631,310,248 3,576,769,948 3,725,506,421 3,832,017,264 3,900,852,863 3,956,840,638
MOTOR VEHICLES102,988,225 79,317,550 60,723,375 49,378,400 41,732,450 39,074,850
MOBILE HOMES309,608 337,158 329,980 363,023 347,653 398,478
HEAVY DUTY EQUIPMENT15,255 0 0 62,960 0 91,953
UTILITIES26,322,153 25,412,165 23,732,060 23,110,695 21,956,165 21,287,140
GROSS DIGEST3,760,945,489 3,681,836,821 3,810,291,836 3,904,932,342 3,964,889,130 4,017,693,058
LESS M&O EXEMPTIONS325,665,644 310,145,903 322,512,770 324,560,279 329,687,205 338,840,501
NET M&O DIGEST3,435,279,845 3,371,690,918 3,487,779,066 3,580,372,063 3,635,201,925 3,678,852,557
MANDATED STATE QBE TAX2.000 2.000 2.000 2.000 2.000 2.000
LOCAL MILLAGE6.200 6.200 6.200 6.200 6.200 6.200
TOTAL M&O MILLAGE8.200 8.200 8.200 8.200 8.200 8.200
NET LEVY (AMOUNT BILLED)28,169,295 27,647,866 28,599,788 29,359,051 29,808,656 30,166,591
NET TAX $ INCREASE5,623 (521,429)951,923 759,263 449,605 357,935
NET TAX % INCREASE0.020%-1.851%3.443%2.655%1.531%1.201%

The City of Dalton Board of Education does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a special board meeting to be held in the Quad at Dalton Middle School, 1250 Cross Plains Trail, Dalton, GA on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 5:30 pm. Pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. 48-5-32, the Board of Education does here publish the following presentation of the current year's tax digest and levy, along with the history of the tax digest and levy for the past five years.

Tax digest amounts represent 100% assessed valuation. The net levy represents the amount billed and not the amount collected. The above totals are subject to some revisions due to properties that are under appeal. O.C.G.A. 48-5-311 requires temporary tax bills based on 85% of the year's assessed valuation or the taxpayers' return value, whichever is greater.

Source: Whitfield County Board of Tax Assessors



Dalton Public Schools has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 0.16%.

All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 300 West Waugh Street, Dalton, Georgia on Monday, August 10, 2020 at 8:00 AM or at 6:15 PM.

Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase will also be in the Quad of Dalton Middle School, 1250 Cross Plains Trail, Dalton, Georgia, on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 5:30 PM.

This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 8.20 mills, an increase of 0.013 mills. Without this tentative increase, the millage rate will be no more than 8.187 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $125,000 is approximately $1.63 and the proposed tax increase for a non-homestead property with a fair market value of $575,000 is approximately $7.48.