Dalton Board of Education meets Monday, could set property tax rate

Dalton Board of Education meets Monday, could set property tax rate

Oct. 16—The Dalton Board of Education will hold a work session and a meeting Monday.

The work session stars at 5 p.m. The meeting starts at 6:30. Both will take place in the City Park School auditorium, 405 School St.

At the work session, board members are scheduled to hear a facilities/capital projects update. They will also discus elementary and middle school athletics as well as a tentative property tax rate.

At the meeting, board members are scheduled to hear the financial report for June and September and to hear departmental reports. They are scheduled to vote on an architectural contract for Roan School. They could also vote on the tentative property tax rate.

Board members agreed at their September meeting to remove a vote on the 2022 property tax rate from their meeting agenda, saying they wanted to get a certified tax digest before making that decision.

A week before that meeting, the Whitfield County Board of Assessors unanimously voted to hold property values at their 2021 rates and to assess new construction at 2021 values.

Preliminary assessments showed the assessed value of residential properties rose an average of 22% in the county. Commercial and industrial assessments rose an average of 15%. The assessments are set by the county Board of Assessors. Members of that board are appointed by the county Board of Commissioners but the assessors are independent of the county and have to follow rules and regulations set by the state.

School board members had previously announced a tentative tax rate of 7.95 mills, down from 8.095 mills in 2021, for their operating budget. But Theresa Perry, the school system’s chief financial officer, said that was based on a digest that had 14% growth.

“We know we are not going to be at 14% growth,” she said at that meeting. “There should be some growth related to new property, new development. But we don’t really know what that is.”

She said school system officials are anticipating 2% growth based on previous numbers.

Data provided by Perry in previous meetings show Dalton Public Schools receives 35% of its revenues from local taxes, compared to 41% on average for Georgia school systems. Dalton Public Schools receives 52% of its revenues from the state, compared to the Georgia average of 49%. The rest of school revenues come from the federal government.

Dalton Public Schools will receive $1.1 million less in equalization funding from the state for fiscal year 2023 than it did for fiscal year 2022. Fiscal year 2023 began July 1.

Dalton Public Schools’ budget for fiscal year 2023 includes general fund expenditures of nearly $90 million. Dalton Public Schools spends 84% of its budget on salaries and benefits.

Dalton Public Schools is adding 21 positions, from paraprofessionals to teachers to administrators.

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