Updated Aug. 12, 2012
With a unanimous vote, the Oconee County Board of Education Monday set the new countywide school millage rate at 17.5 mils for maintenance and operations and 1 mil for bonds, for a total of 18.5 mils.
for maintenance and operations and 1 mil for bonds, for a total of 17.5 mils.
Before the vote took place, three public hearings were held: the first on July 19 and two on Aug 2. The hearings weren't mandatory because the recommendations were below the rollback rates, but Assistant Superintendent for Financial Operations Randy Morrison said the Board wanted to provide multiple opportunities for citizen input.
During the July 19 hearing, Morrison said he expects the Board to drop the bond millage rate of 1 mil next year.
In 1996 there wasn't the option for Georgia school systems to ask taxpayers to vote for a one-cent education special purpose, local option sales tax (ESPLOST), he explained. So the Oconee County Board of Education asked the voters to approve the sale of bonds in order to build . At that time, 2.2 mils were added on as a separate millage rate to pay the principal and interest payment on that debt. Over time, Morrison said, that rate has reduced and is currently 1 mil. January 2014 is estimated to be the final payment on that bond debt, Morrison said.
Construction since has been funded by the ESPLOST.
"We anticipate using money from the that was passed -- $1 million of that --to help pay for [bonds]," he said during the hearing. "If funds come in the way we project, we will be able to do away with that 1 mil or reduce it to a fraction of one."
The Oconee County Board of Commissioners at its meeting Tuesday confirmed the school district's tax levy.
Commissioners also approved the county's net millage rates of 6.686 mils for unincorporated areas and 7.626 mils for incorporated areas, according to county clerk Gina Lindsey Hansford.
According to the meeting's minutes:
- The gross millage rate for county government maintenance and operations for unincorporated areas was set at 11.006; less 3.380 for sales tax rollback and .940 for insurance premium rollback.
- The gross millage rate for county government maintenance and operations for incorporated areas was set at 11.006; less 3.380 for sales tax rollback.
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