Will FoCo property taxes go lower? Ask the FoCo Board of Education

Justine Lookenott

The FoCo Board of Education said millage rates will be lowered after a public hearing on the issue on June 1Photo byDillon KyddonUnsplash

(Forsyth County, GA) Forsyth County homeowners have been hit with a high rise in property taxes for the second year in a row after 2023 property assessment notices were sent out on May 26.

With a homestead exemption in place for the county’s portion of the taxes, many are looking to the Forsyth County Board of Education (BOE) for relief.

This year’s proposed budget for Forsyth County Schools called for funds to cover teacher salaries, hire more staff and cover healthcare costs. It also included fund reserves of $11 million for future land purchases and $15 million for future health care increases.

The BOE initially planned to stay with the same millage rate of 17.3 from the previous 2022 to 2023 school year but announced it would be dropped by one mill in May to 16.3.

But it became apparent that this wasn’t enough to relieve taxpayers of the skyrocketing property taxes during a budget and millage rate hearing early Wednesday morning on June 1.

Chairwoman of the Forsyth County Republican Party (FCRP) Mendy Moore was one of the speakers who advocated for a further millage rate drop, presenting a resolution from the FCRP calling for the BOE to drop the millage rate by at least two mills.

Moore later told NewsBreak that “We feel like that will help offset the increase in property values for people and give taxpayers some relief.”

The BOE later announced in a statement they would be taking more steps to lower the millage rate again.

“After listening to our public and Board at our first budget hearing yesterday, we are now revising the draft budget to include an additional O&M rollback. This draft #2 will be presented at the next budget hearing on June 15. We feel that this draft will ensure that our students will have the resources and support necessary for continued success, that our employees will receive much-needed pay increases, and that our citizens will see their final tax bill decrease. Last year we lowered the bond debt millage rate, which also decreased final tax bills for our residents.”

The BOE has not provided a specific number on how much the millage rate will be rolled back.

Another hearing on the budget and millage rate will be held on June 15 at the Board of Education building at 1120 Dahlonega Highway. The budget hearing will begin at 5 p.m. and the millage rate hearings at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The BOE will cast a final vote on the budget and millage rate on June 22.

Meanwhile, the FCRP is hosting a Property Tax Forum where several elected officials will be speaking on the issue and answering questions from the audience.

The Forum will be on Tuesday, June 6 at 7 p.m. at the Sgt. David P. Land Memorial Fraternity of Police Lodge at 248 Castleberry Industrial Drive in Cumming. More information can be found on the FCRP Facebook page.

If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, contact Justine Lookenott at justine.lookenott@newsbreak.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @justalookenott.

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I cover local news in Forsyth County, GA. My debut into the writing world began at the age of 10 when I won an essay contest in Around Acworth Magazine in which I wrote about spending the summer with my pet goat, Eclair. Since graduating from Kennesaw State University, I have been published in several newspapers and magazines in the Atlanta area including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta School Guide, What Now Atlanta, Newcomer Magazine, the Marietta Daily Journal and the Cherokee Tribune.

Forsyth County, GA

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