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Gwinnett County Public Schools Millage Rate and FY2023 Budget Amendment

GCPS torch and Gwinnett County Public SchoolsThe Gwinnett County Board of Education adopted the FY2023 budget on June 16, 2022. The fiscal year budget included a projected 5.1% growth in the local property tax digest based on initial input from the Gwinnett County Tax Assessors’ Office in early January. In late April, the Tax Assessors’ Office mailed approximately 294,000 annual notices of assessment to residential and commercial property owners. Roughly 83% of the notices informed owners that the appraised value was adjusted for market conditions in response to the real estate market changes. Recently, the county Tax Assessors’ Office advised the district that the county-wide digest would be increasing close to 25%.

  • Based on these updated tax assessed values, the Board is proposing to reduce the maintenance and operations (M&O) millage rate from 19.70 to 19.20 mills and the debt service millage rate from 1.65 to 1.45, resulting in a total reduction of .70 mills to 20.65 mills.
  • Since 2018, the Board has reduced the debt service millage rate four times and reduced the M&O millage rate twice.

Understanding the Tax Assessed Value

Property tax is the primary source of revenue for local governments, including Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS). Three components determine property taxes: assessed property value, exemptions, and millage rates.

  • The assessed value is determined by the Tax Assessors’ Office. The assessed value is 40% of the January 1 fair market value as determined by the Tax Assessor and required by Georgia law.
  • Exemptions are approved by the Tax Commissioner. Categories of exemptions include homeowners who occupy their homes, seniors 62-64, seniors 65+, homeowners who are 100% disabled, and surviving spouses of military, peace officers, or firefighters killed in the line of duty who have not remarried. 
  • The Gwinnett County Board of Tax Assessors’ appraisal staff determines your property value based on recent sales (including bank sales) and market conditions. The Tax Assessor sends the Annual Notice of Assessment, a written explanation of the appraised and assessed value of the property. Notices are mailed to all property owners yearly, and most Annual Notices of Assessment are mailed in April. As a property owner, you have 45 days after the assessment notice date to appeal the appraised value of your property. You can file an appeal in person, online, or by mail. However, the appeals window is now closed for Gwinnett County this year.

The Gwinnett County Tax  Assessors’ Office has produced this video to help property owners of Gwinnett County to better understand their property taxes: https://player.vimeo.com/video/575583289?h=f7f995ad32

GCPS Board of Education Proposes Lower Millage Rate in 2022

Millage rates are set by the Board of Commissioners, the Board of Education (BOE), and each authority that provides County services, along with any exemptions that apply and the related millage rate set by the Board of Commissioners or Board of Education. One ”mill” equals $1.00 of property taxes for every $1,000 of assessed valuation. Tax millage rates are set by taxing authorities through an advertised process open for public input. This generally occurs in June or July.”

By state law, the BOE must either keep its tax collections revenue neutral through a decrease in the millage rates or announce a tax increase due to the increased assessed property values. With the proposed rollback to 19.20 mills for maintenance and operations and 1.45 mills for debt service, the total millage will still generate more revenue for FY2023 to support public education in Gwinnett County. Based on the annual notices that went out in April from the Tax Assessors’ Office, the estimated increase in revenue is approximately $137 million.

In June, the BOE approved the 2022-2023 school year (FY2023) budget for GCPS. You can learn more about the FY2023 budget from our website and previous board meetings.

The increase in revenue from the lower proposed millage rate is designated to further the School Board's efforts to support the district's strategic plan, transforming our public education offering in Gwinnett County to be student-centered, equity-focused, and future-driven. The investments proposed for the increased revenue are aligned to the Board priorities and include:

  • 63% to hire additional teachers to reduce class sizes in grades K-12 to be within maximum state class-size ratios, school safety supports, instructional technology, student interventions, and resources for students learning English.
  • 17% to support salary increases for certified and classified staff to remain competitive with other local school districts.
  • 20% to maintain a healthy “rainy day fund,” a contributing factor to the district’s AAA rating from Standard and Poor’s and Aaa from Moody’s Investors Service.

The decision of how much to roll back the millage rate considers the needs of students and staff, budget priorities expressed by the community, and the projected growth for next year. GCPS is expected to grow by more than 3,284 students, bringing the total projected enrollment for next school year to more than 182,800 students.

 

Your Input on the Proposed Millage Roll Back

The Gwinnett County Board of Education will hold the second and third Public Hearings on the FY2023 Millage Rate on July 13, 2022, at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. in the Board Room at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Road, NW in Suwanee.

Citizens wishing to address the Board regarding the FY2023 Millage Rate may do so in person at the Instructional Support Center. A sign-up sheet will be available outside the Board Room from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. for the 11 a.m. public hearing only and from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the 6 p.m. public hearing. The first public hearing was held on July 5, 2022.

 

If you cannot attend the public hearings on July 5 or 13, you may email your comments about the FY2023 Millage Rate to the Board at MySchoolBoard@gcpsk12.org. A copy of the budget is available for public review on our website at www.gcpsk12.org or through the Budget Department at 678-301-6200.