Fayette School System’s money woes can be solved starting with our local legislators

by Fulton Watch News Feed

Last week, I reported that our excellent Fayette County schools are reducing 73 positions with 70 of those being in school positions. In fairness, its important to note that our school system is dealing with financial issues that are somewhat outside their control.

I have written before about how Fayette’s property tax base skews toward a higher percentage of senior citizen property owners which limits the amount of school property tax available. And recently we have all heard how the homestead exemption voted in by we taxpayers have further limited the available funds.

However, when the state of Georgia deducts the “5 Mills Fair Share” as our minimum local cost of public education, it deducts 5 mills of the gross digest before considering that over 20% of our tax digest is locked away by homestead exemptions for the seniors and now the 3% growth limit. Based on the FY 2024 QBE allocation, over $35 million was deducted from our state funds.

Simple math says $7 million less ($35 million x 20%) should have been taken given twenty percent of our digest is locked away in homestead exemptions. Even simpler math says that if each school based position costs $100,000 with pension and benefits cost, the seven million dollars over deducted equals the 70 school based positions we are now reducing.

To be clear, this is a simplification of a overly complex situation, to provide context to the taxpayer. With the recent bills based by our legislature, these problems will begin to manifest in other districts over time unless we partner with our legislative leaders to address this flaw.

In simple terms, the QBE needs to be fixed so that the “Five Mill Fair Share” is based of the net digest (what is actually taxable) verus the gross digest (without exemptions). This is not arguing for anything more than what is fairly due from the state of Georgia based on the existing law.

For many years, Fayette’s taxpayers have paid higher taxes to provide our…

Read the full article here

Have a news tip for Fulton Watch? Submit your news tip or article here.

You may also like

Fulton Watch is your one-stop news source for the latest news and updates about all things Fulton County: Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Sandy Springs and more! Follow us now to get the news that matters to you.

Copyright © 2023 Fulton Watch. created by Sawah Solutions.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy