Education More News |

Richmond County school board will consider property tax increase Tuesday

  • Follow Education

A property tax increase for Richmond County homeowners might be unavoidable, according to school board President Marion Barnes.

Topic: Richmond County Schools
 - More coverage on this topic:

"Personally, I don't see where we're going to be able to balance that budget without a slight tax increase," he said.

Barnes said a decision could come as soon as Tuesday's budget hearing, where board members will again take up a couple of options that staff have posed: having workers take eight furlough days and reducing 35 positions through attrition; or having six furlough days, the 35 job cuts through attrition and an increase in the tax rate.

"Hopefully we can settle that Tuesday so people will know what's going on," Barnes said.

The options are in response to continued state funding cuts. The school system faces a revenue downfall of $16.7 million in the fiscal year that starts July 1, and the board has until mid-June to approve its budget.

Board member Jack Padgett has said that to provide some flexibility he would favor having eight furlough days and going to the cap in property tax. He has said that should conditions later improve, some furlough days could then be given back to workers.

The board has already decided that whichever number of furloughs is chosen, half would come by reducing teachers' contracted work days, meaning they wouldn't have to pay their retirement contributions on those days.

Under the tax increase being proposed, the owner of a $100,000 house would pay an extra $29.89 a year, or $2.49 more a month.

Board member Barbara Pulliam said she has mentioned the possibility of the tax increase in some recent community meetings, and "it seemed like the majority of them are saying it might be needed."

She said many seem to understand that the increase wouldn't be large. On the other hand, she said, "You've got some folks, of course, that wouldn't want to pay a penny more."

Pulliam said she hasn't decided how she'll vote on the tax issue.

Board member Frank Dolan, though, stated in an e-mail that "I am totally opposed to an ad valorem tax increase."

Dolan said that as a board member and small-business owner, he sees both sides of the issue. He noted that there are about 300 employees in the Board of Education central office, 40 workers in the Title 1 department "and another 150 more or less who never see a student."

"No one today knows the proper amount of money necessary to run the R.C.S.B. at an optimum level," he stated. "However, one may correctly assume the automatic answer is not to just raise ad valorem taxes ... The days of a never-ending tax source at the expense of our constituents for a bloated bureaucracy is over.

"We do not need a tax increase in Augusta," Dolan continued. "The school system needs to work with our state government to become more competitive in attracting large businesses to our area."

Messages left for other board members were not immediately returned.

Going to the tax cap, which would be a millage increase of 0.854, would bring the school system an extra $2.1 million.

The school system's funding is 57 percent state, 30 percent local and 13 percent federal. The state share has diminished 3 percent since 2007, and the local percentage has grown 3 percent in that time.

Higher rate's effect on taxpayers' bills

Estimated property tax increases that would result if the Richmond County school board goes to the tax cap for its share of taxes to help balance its 2010-11 fiscal year budget:

$75,000 HOME: $21.35 more a year, or $1.78 more a month

$100,000 HOME: $29.89 more a year, or $2.49 more a month

$125,000 HOME: $37.43 more a year, or $3.12 more a month

$150,000 HOME: $46.97 more a year, or $3.91 more a month

$175,000 HOME: $55.51 more a year, or $4.63 more a month

$200,000 HOME: $64.05 more a year, or $5.34 more a month

Source: Richmond County school system

Comments (13) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Augusta resident
Augusta resident 05/31/10 - 02:13 am
Why not just raise my taxes

Why not just raise my taxes more than that? Uncle Sam just trippled my flood insurance and my house payment went up $166.00! I just don't see how I can afford to retire here.

dickworth1 05/31/10 - 03:24 am
Do you think the city or the

Do you think the city or the school board give a rip about you? Let's not
rock the boat, just shut up and pay whatever these two inept spenders
need. No, we should not cut out busing everyone to and from school, we
should build new courthouses irregardless of the economy and we should
believe the idiots that say Augusta is in far better shape than most. Don't
complain, just pay! Get use to paying taxes, change is coming from obama and probably his supporters are not smart enough to know their
taxes are higher, because a lot of the increases will be "hidden" taxes.
Good luck on the changes!

HTN007 05/31/10 - 06:48 am
Time for reappraisals seems

Time for reappraisals seems to be in order, especially if taxes are being raised? Property values have gone down in a lot of cases and there should be an adjustment on that end of the equation too!

disssman 05/31/10 - 07:38 am
I just wish the AC would do

I just wish the AC would do an article on the RCBOE budget so we could see where the $16.7 million short fall is and it sure isn't in salaries. Assuming the 35 positions cost $2Mil that means $1,837,500 dollars a day is spent on teachers or for a 180 day school year we are spending $330,750,000 a teay on salaries which is far more thab we have been told. So what are the liabilities in contracts, services and materials we owe? But, in the end they have refused to divulge their budgets for years and now is not the time for them to change. The bottom line tto this article is, we are mad, but not mad enough to vote for new representatives. No, I will bet that all the incumbents will be re-elected regardless of the taxes people pay. And really it is the renters that vote to approve these huge increases. What is needed is for landlords to send renters a notice that if an increase in taxes is approved, their rent is going up to pay for the tax increase.

cleanup 05/31/10 - 07:44 am
Their blind worship of a

Their blind worship of a foolish egomaniacal super, their plain ignorance, their refusal to demand cuts in the central office, their continued waste of money = no tax increase + voting EVERY board member out ASAP.

SouthernPride 05/31/10 - 08:15 am
Here's an idea. Why doesn't

Here's an idea. Why doesn't Richmond County cut some of those high salaries from the county workers.

marie21 05/31/10 - 08:42 am
When does this end??!! We

When does this end??!! We can not afford for our taxes to be raised anymore. They already have my house appraised at a value it would NEVER sell at. How about all these people who lease or rent and use our school systems. What do they pay???

Runner46 05/31/10 - 08:58 am
Taxpayers with over

Taxpayers with over assessment problems need to argue the point through the appropriate medium. I believe the taxes are a fixed percentage based on the replacement value of the home and land value, not the market value. That's why we don't need any property tax increases. Hard times in a devalued market need to be hard times for the tax recipients as well.

scoobynews 05/31/10 - 09:02 am
According to the landlord

According to the landlord they pass the taxes on to the renters. So who is making the killing here - the landlords. Most of their slum properties were probably bought at auction or through foreclosures. They are most likely paid for in full so the landlord is sittin pretty making a killing. Then the renters move in and decrease property values because they have total lack of consideration for the people who own. It is a never ending cycle.

DAMY46 05/31/10 - 09:21 am
Instead of cutting waste and

Instead of cutting waste and fat they are going to vote to raise property taxes and pull $9 mil. out of their reserve funds...The real question is: What are they going to do next year?

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 05/31/10 - 09:33 am
Raising taxes in a recession

Raising taxes in a recession is a sure-fire way to prolong the recession. The public education industry is making a killing while the general public is going down the toilet.

sand gnat
sand gnat 06/03/10 - 03:22 pm
Here is a simple suggestion.

Here is a simple suggestion. Do away with every position that begins with "Assistant".

KatieLou 06/03/10 - 04:41 pm
When the RCBOE stops making

When the RCBOE stops making us pay for babysitting kids who disrupt classes, hinder the education of other students and destroy the peace and public property at schools, then I'll be happy to give them a few more dollars every month.

Put the non-academic types into vocational programs and the losers into boot camps, and spend the academic dollars on the students who want to learn badly enough to do what it takes to get an academic slot.

Make public education student slots competitive and watch the quality of education and student achievement, both academic and vocational, soar. And we'd also probably get our manufacturing and skilled labor force back.

Why is this so hard to figure out?

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs