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Public hearings scheduled on millage rate adoption— BOE proposing slightly lower millage rate; tax increase announced due to partial rollback

June 24, 2022

     As required by law, the Gwinnett County Board of Education (GCBOE) will hold three public hearings as part of its process for setting the millage rate. The first hearing will be held on July 5 at 6 p.m. The second and third public hearings will take place on July 13 at 11:00 a.m. and 6 p.m. All of the public hearings are scheduled to take place in the Board Room at the J. Alvin Wilbanks Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Road NW in Suwanee.

     At its June 16, 2022 meeting, the Gwinnett County Board of Education (GCBOE) adopted its Fiscal Year 2023 Budget and tentatively adopted a millage rate to support the budget. During the budget-setting process, the Board indicated that the adopted budget would not require an increase in the millage rate.  In light of projected growth in the property tax digest, the Gwinnett County BOE actually will propose a slight decrease in the millage rate, resulting in a maintenance and operations (M&O) and debt service millage rate of 19.20 mils and 1.45 mils, respectively.  This is down from last year’s rates of 19.70 mils and 1.65 mils, respectively. (Funds generated by the M&O millage pay for the day-to-day operations of the school system, including employee salaries, instructional materials, student transportation, and school utility costs.  The debt-service millage is used to pay down the School Board’s long-term debt from bond referenda passed over the years to pay for school construction.)

     In order to keep the local tax digest current, the Gwinnett County Tax Assessor’s Office conducts annual property value updates (reassessments) on a rotating basis. By state law, local taxing authorities, such as GCBOE, must either keep their tax collections revenue-neutral (by decreasing the millage rate to offset the gained taxes from the property value updates) or announce a tax increase (even though the actual millage rate is not increasing). The total millage will still generate more revenue for FY2023, requiring the announcement of a proposed property tax increase. However, taxpayers whose property values have not increased due to reassessment will see no increase in their school tax bill.

     The budget provides resources—both financial and human—to help the school system accommodate its growing student population and to support the district’s core business of teaching and learning through salary improvements, additional support staff, early literacy, and technology enhancements. Gwinnett County Public Schools’ enrollment is expected to grow by over 3,284 students, bringing the total projected enrollment for next school year to more than 182,800 students.

     Citizens may address the Gwinnett County Board of Education at any of the three public hearings. A sign-up sheet will be available at the hearings for those wishing to speak. There is no need to sign up in advance of the meeting dates.

     A copy of the budget is available for public review on the school system’s website, www.gcpsk12.org, or through the school system’s Budget Department. For information, call 678-301-6200.