Public hearings today on possible property tax increase for Chatham Co. residents

CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) – Heads up to property owners in Chatham County, your taxes for the school district could be on the rise this year.

As the school district is working on their budget for next year, they are deciding how much money they need to collect from taxpayers. The amount is determined by two factors – your property value and the millage rate.

The district will propose a .5 mill reduction of the current rate at 18.131 down to 17.631 mills. Even though the district is proposing a reduction of the millage rate – property values have gone up for most people, so you will likely still see an increase. The only way your taxes would go down is if your property decreased in value or stayed the same.

Even though the mill rate reduction would help offset some costs to taxpayers, the district will get about $39 million more dollars through local property taxes than they did this past year. Those taxes are the largest revenue for the district.

“Salaries makeup close to 85 percent of our budget and we have a shortage of teachers, bus drivers, custodians so the only way to cut any more would be to cut salaries which we certainly can’t afford to do because we are having difficulty filling positions,” said Paige Cooley, SCCPSS Budget Director.

If you have additional comments or questions, you can come to a public hearing session today. There are two options at the Whitney Administrative Complex on Laura Avenue – the first one is at 11 a.m. and the second session is at 6 p.m.

There will be a final hearing for the public one week from today and following that, the district will approve the millage rate.

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