"State law requires us to calculate a millage rate that would keep tax rates the same whenever property tax assessments go up," Alan Melson, director of financial services, said.
Melson said the rollback millage rate was calculated to be 15.792 mills. Keeping the millage rate at the current 16.28 mills will result in a tax increase of about 1.93 percent.
Melson stated in a follow up interview that Polk School District has projected fund balance for Fiscal Year 2013 of a little over $1.5 million.
"If we keep the millage rate at 16.28 the net taxes are up over last year by over $539,000," Melson said. "But there are still many property in appeals that could lower that amount by over $300,000."
"A good rule of thumb is we need about one month’s operating expenses in fund balance which would equate to about $4.5 million, Melson said. "So even though net collections should be up a small amount we still have a long way to go to get to a more comfortable level in our fund balance."
The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $100,000 is approximately $12 and the proposed tax increase for a non-homestead property with a fair market value of $75,000 is approximately $9, according to the website.
The next step in setting a final millage rate is for the board to hold three public hearings, Melson said. The hearings will be held at the central office located at 612 South College St., Cedartown on Thursday, Oct. 4, at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. and on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m.
The board passed the tentative millage rate 8-1 with Chuck Thaxton, Jane Holbrooks, Grady McCrickard, Dan Forsyth, Susan Berry, Tim Turner, Andy Fairel and Tara O'Neal voting for and Tommy Sanders voting against.
Other action items
The board approved the installation of a new walking track and special needs playground at Westside Elementary School in a unanimous vote. The project will be paid for by the W.D. Tripp Foundation in the amount of $67,677.00.
A new walking track was also approved for Van Wert Elementary School. The project will be paid for by the Van Wert PTO, and is estimated to cost between $9,000-$11,000. The proposal passed in a unanimous vote.
A motion to purchase new furniture for Rockmart High School passed in a unanimous vote.
Director of Facilities Tom Reilly made a presentation to the board explaining the need of new tables, desks, and stools.
Reilly said students were often having to prop books in their laps due to a shortage of desks and tables, and recommended the district purchase approximately 50 desks, 10 tables, 20 chairs and 20 stools to cover the shortage.
The furniture would be purchased from a number of manufacturers including HON, Reilly said. He estimated the total cost to be less than $13, 500. The purchase will come from SPLOST funds.