Decatur BOE – Board lowers millageThe City Schools of Decatur Board of Education holds its first regular meeting in its new board room at the Beacon Municipal Center. File Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
This story has been updated.
Decatur’s Board of Education voted to lower the tax rate during its June 10 meeting.
BOE members Julie Rhame and Bernadette Seals said that the board voted unanimously to lower the rate from 20.9 mills to 20.5 mills.
In a June 12 letter to parents, CSD notes that there will still be an overall increase in taxes.
“This is a decrease from the 2013 millage rate of 20.90 mills; however due to property reassessments, this will represent an average increase of 4.27 percent in property taxes,” the letter says.
Superintendent Phyllis Edwards had recommended reducing the millage to 20.2 mills.
Rhame and Seals said the new millage rate will cost system will be more than $500,000 in revenue.
But the upshot is Decatur’s tax digest is expected to increase by 12.75 percent, which is expected to bring in an additional $3.2 million in revenue. The system also expects to end the year with a $1.5 million surplus.
Rhame said the board felt it appropriate lower the millage rate, and said residents have been supportive of the sales taxes and other means of funding the city’s schools.
“Our taxpayers have been good to us,” Rhame said.
Also, School Board members held their first meeting in Beacon Municipal Center, the new home of the CSD central office. Seals said the board has never had its own dedicated meeting space and in the past held its meetings Renfroe Middle School. Until this month, the School Board had been holding meetings at the former Westchester Elementary School. Westchester will reopen as a K-3 school this fall.
“We love the new building,” Seals said.