When trying to sell the public on the $7 million, five-year auditorium bond in 2012, board chair Randy Weiner said the board told voters that if SPLOST IV passed in March 2013, as it did, the school district would use it to help pay off the bond.
On July 23, the board will vote to reduce the district’s millage rate, or property tax rate, from 19.157 mills to 18.642. The .475 reduction could save the owner of a $100,000 home about $17 per year; $200,000, $36; and $300,000, $55.
“SPLOST will help retire that auditorium bond, so it means we can reduce the millage rate,” Weiner said.
He reminds the public that this reduction is a two-year deal. In 2014, they plan to adopt a second reduction in the millage rate of .712 for a total millage reduction of 1.187 mills.
“Both (reductions) should pass,” Weiner said. “I can’t imagine them not.”
Mary Ansley Southerland, a Marietta native and local mortgage broker, applauded the district’s fiscal responsibility and believes the suggested reduction sends a strong message of good will to residents.
“However, after many, many years of cuts and prudent financial management by the school board, administration, teachers and staff, I would love to see the opportunity for any excess budget to make up for some of the things that we have lost over the last few years,” she said. “I hope they will pay strong attention to the deferred needs.”
School districts across Georgia have experienced deep cuts in state funding since 2003. Marietta hasn’t received more than $25 million in funding.
And while homeowners could see more money in their pockets if this rate decrease is approved, it might not last very long.
On Wednesday, the Marietta City Council will consider asking voters on Nov. 5 to vote on a bond that would collect $68 million.
The school board will hold a public hearing on the millage rate cut July 23 at 5:30 p.m. The hearing will be held at the Marietta City Schools district administrative offices at 250 Howard St. in Marietta. The board will vote afterward at 6 p.m.