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at 13.60 mills
The school tax rate in Grady County will remain unchanged following action taken Tuesday night to maintain the existing rate of 13.60 mills for a second consecutive year.
Members of the Grady County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the recommendation of school superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard and leave the tax rate for 2020 unchanged.
A pattern has formed over the last several years with the board maintaining a rate of 14.20 mills for 2015 and 2016; 13.70 for 2017 and 2018; and then dropping it to 13.60 in 2019 and maintaining that rate for 2020.
“Thankfully, the voters of Grady County have supported our school system by approving the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and it has been the desire of the school board and myself to in turn keep the ad valorem taxes for schools at the lowest level possible. The ESPLOST provides us resources we otherwise would not have and our only alternative would be to raise the millage rate, which we do not want to do,” said Dr. Gilliard.
Although the school board is holding the line on the 2020 tax rate, the system will be coming up $775,584 short of the money it needs to balance its 2020-2021 operating budget. According to Dan Broome, finance officer for the Grady County School System, that deficit will be made up with funds from the system’s cash reserves.
A rate of 13.60 mills applied to the county’s 2020 tax digest will generate $7,694,938, but after paying the Grady County Commission a tax collection fee, the school system will only receive $7,502,565 in ad valorem taxes.
Local funding is a drop in the bucket compared to the state and federal dollars that make up the bulk of the system’s $45,570,919 spending plan for 2020-2021.
In related news Tuesday night, Broome reported that he would be making the final payment on the series 2015 bonds in September, which will leave only the 2019 debt to be retired.
The board also approved the accounts payable of $981,991.01 on the recommendation of Broome.