The Tattnall County Board of Education held a public hearing Monday night on the 2017 millage rate and ultimately voted to ___ keep the millage rate at 13.514.

According to Superintendent Gina Williams, the Tattnall County School System earns $20 million in QBE money from the state and another $3 million -at least for FY 2018- in equalization grant money. The total allotment from the state totals $23,349,485.

Tattnall County receives additional money for CTAE and school nutrition programs as well.

Locally, Tattnall County collects just over $5.3 million in local taxes for the Board of Education, the TVAT (ad valorem) totals $550,000, and other taxes totalling $346,000 are also collected. Total, locally, the Tattnall school system receives $6,239,349.

In federal grant money, Tattnall earns, $2,114,454 for Title I programs, special education programs and similar initiatives, many required by law.

The budget prepared for FY 2018 totals $32,633,621. Williams said Monday that increases in the budget stem from a few things outside the control of the local Board:

  1. Governor Nathan Deal approved a 2% raise for teachers. The county only receives allotment money for certified teachers, but Tattnall included all staff in the district, which added additional expenditures.
  2. State health insurance costs have increased. The Tattnall County School district pays $945 per month per employee for the state health benefit plan.
  3. Teacher retirement system increased 16.81%

Expenses do exceed revenue by just over $930,000 so, given the projected revenue and expenditures, the school board predicts a $1,742,655 fund balance at the end of the year.

Keeping the millage rate at 13.514 means the Board of Education will collect 4.63% MORE in taxes than they did in 2016, however, the increase is due to the increase in property values, not an increase in the tax rate. The net tax increase from the 4.63% totals $247,429.

If the Board of Education rolled the millage rate back to 13.302, the county school system would automatically lose the $3 million equalization grant due to the state’s requirement that the millage rate be 13.5 mills by July 1, 2018 for counties receiving the equalization funds. The Board of Education would be forced to raise the millage rate 7.429 mills to provide for the budget presented for FY 2018 in that circumstance.

State law will require all Boards of Education that receive equalization grants to up their millage rate to at least 14 mills by 2019, so Tattnall County residents should expect that increase in coming years, but not yet.

Take a look at the millage rates by county:

County Population 2016 Millage Rate Equalization Money For FY 2017? Superintendent Salary
Bulloch 72,651 9.804 YES – $778,320 $160,326
Burke 22,745 13.73 NO $159,582
Candler 10,886 13.076 YES – $1.7 million/yr $163,315.08
Emanuel 22,708 13.734 YES – $2.66 million/yr $137,748
Evans 10,787 14.399 YES – $985,424/year $105,000
Jeff Davis 14,920 13.0 YES – $2.359 million/yr $138,099
Long 17,731 13.483 YES – $3.5 million/yr $150,104
Montgomery 8,951 14.189 YES – $66,255 $64,233
Tattnall 25,229 (includes 3 prisons) 13.514 YES – $2.7 million/yr $120,400
Toombs 27,241 13.956 YES – $1.9 million/yr $114,999
Treutlen 6,785 13.0 YES – $908,511 $121,841
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Jessica Szilagyi is statewide contributor for All On Georgia and Market Manager for Southeast Georgia. Her main focus with All On Georgia is state and local politics as well as agriculture. She’s served as a policy analyst at the State Capitol and as a campaign manager in political races across the state.

She writes for and has two blogs of her own: ‘The Perspicacious Conservative’, a political blog, and ‘Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers’, a blog on moving from Atlanta to rural Georgia. Jessica is also a contributor for Fox5 Atlanta’s ‘Like it Or Not.’