School Council & Public Input - Senior Citizens Tax Exemption

Overview:  In recent months the Board of Education has been approached by citizens who have asked the Board to increase the levels of exemption that senior citizens currently receive on their property taxes as levied by the school system.  Currently, the millage rate is 18.59 mills where it has remained since 2004. The board has not raised the millage rate since 2003.

Currently, senior citizens are exempt from a portion of their school taxes as a result of action initiated by the board of education in 2002.  Information on the current exemptions is available on the Coweta County Tax Assessors web page.

http://www.coweta.ga.us/government/tax-assessors-office/exemptions

The request from the citizens who have approached the board has been to raise the exemption levels to account for inflation since 2002. The attached sheet, which was calculated by the Coweta County Tax Assessor’s office, provides an estimate of the impact to the school system if the exemption is raised by various levels (Estimated Impact).

The superintendent has suggested to the Board that school council/public input be sought in order to broaden the input that is received before making any type of decision on this matter. You are not being asked to vote on the matter. You are being asked to review the matter and share any pros/cons that you believe the Board should consider before making any decision. The link for sharing your input is tax.exemption@cowetaschools.net

Each citizen who has spoken in favor of increasing the exemption has expressed their concern about the county-wide revaluation of properties that is to be completed in 2020 by the tax assessor. They are asking that a decision regarding the senior exemption be made now so that it can take effect as soon as possible.

The board of education does not make the final decision in this matter. It simply can initiate the process. The matter would ultimately go to our local delegation to be voted on in the state legislature. If passed, it would be placed on the ballot next year for the citizens to vote on.

Examples of Questions to Consider:

What are the benefits of increasing this exemption for seniors (fixed income, rising assessments, etc.)?
What are the challenges for the school system if the exemption is increased and up to $1.8 million in revenue is lost in the first year (revenue impact, future effects, etc.)?
What is the level of need for increasing this exemption before the 2020 re-assessment vs. waiting to see what the re-assessment impact is?
Are there other exemption criteria that should be considered?

The following links provide summaries and thoughts of those who have provided information to the board. You may review these if desired.

Also, their contact information is listed below if you have questions for them.

Citizens who have spoken in favor of increasing the exemption for seniors:

Jeff Binion 678-850-6967 jcbinion@charter.net

Bob Eaton  770-296-3005  arius1066@gmail.com

Donald Smith 240-838-4444  dsmith6010@yahoo.com

The following link is information provided by the County.  The Coweta County Tax Assessor’s office can be contacted at 770-254-2680.

County Information

Comments

You may submit your input here: tax.exemption@cowetaschools.net

 

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