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Decatur School Board, City Commission plan joint work session to discuss several issues


Decatur School Board, City Commission plan joint work session to discuss several issues

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The boundaries of the city of Decatur. Source: Google Maps


The Decatur School Board and the City Commission plan to meet this Thursday, Oct. 24, to discuss mutual topics of interest.

School Board members will hold a work session at 5:30 p.m. to discuss a couple of topics, including a report about the impact of Decatur’s senior tax exemption. That will be followed by the joint work session with City Commissioners, which will get underway at 7 p.m. Both meetings will be held at City Schools of Decatur’s central office, called the Wilson Schools Support Center. The Support Center is located at 125 Electric Avenue Decatur, GA 30030. All meetings are open to the public.

The report about senior tax exemptions, produced by Georgia State University, found that the tax break cost the school system millions and did little to offset the enrollment growth in the school system.

According to the report’s conclusions, the tax break “did not change the buying or selling behavior of those that would qualify for the exemption in the city of Decatur. Nor did it alter the growth in enrollments in CSD that has been ongoing since 2010. Rather, the policy incentivized the older residents that had not previously filed for an age-based property tax exemption to file for one. This shift from other homestead exemptions to the 65 and over full homestead exemption can account for much of the unexpected loss in revenues due to the 65 and over policy change.”

To read the full report, click here.

Superintendent David Dude said other topics up for discussion may include commercial and residential developments, annexation of new territory into the city — Dude notes that he knows of no annexation plans, but said it “always comes up” — affordable housing, and Senate Bill 53. For those who don’t remember, Senate Bill 53 makes school annexations separate from municipal ones, meaning they would need to be approved in a separate referendum. Gov. Brian Kemp vetoed that bill after City Schools of Decatur hired a lobbyist at the last minute to encourage the governor to reject it. The School Board said it was unaware of the bill until it passed the Senate.

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