Residents express concerns about rising property values ​​and taxes at the Bank of England Millage rate hearing

The Forsyth County Board of Education heard many members of the community concerned about the district’s proposed budget and average millions during its regular meeting and hearings on Tuesday, June 21.

BoE members passed the interim budget and the rate of millions in May, proposing a budget of $578,498,654 – an increase of about $58.4 million from last year that would help provide staff at New Hope Primary School and provide competitive salary increases to staff.

They also suggested maintaining the 17.3 plants operating 1,000 rate as it was for the eighth consecutive year and reducing the 1 million debt service ratio from 2,418 to 1,418.

The operating 1,000 rate helps cover the district’s daily expenses while the debt services rate helps make the debt payments approved by county voters.

Despite the rate of millions declining from debt services, eight members of the community spoke to the board of directors on Tuesday, expressing concerns about higher tax rates as property values ​​soar across Metro Atlanta and the United States.

What the homeowners said

Homeowners Brian Martin and Ryan Descher said they were shocked to see how much their property values ​​had gone up when they received property appraisal notices in the mail this year. Combined with rising inflation causing prices to go up at groceries and the fuel pump, they said they were wondering how they would be able to pay the increased property taxes.

“I talked to my neighbors,” Descher said. “They’re sitting at their kitchen table, trying to figure out what to do. I’m one of them. How can I pay 18% of that tax increase? Am I taking my kids out of school? Cancel our annual leave where we make family memories? Cut the grocery bill dramatically though Inflation? These are questions residents across the county are asking.”
In a press release issued earlier this month, Forsyth County chief appraiser Mary Kirkpatrick said mailed property valuations are based on fair-market property values, which have risen 18 to 20% over the past year. Most of these increases will go to Forsyth County schools.

Of the total tax summary, Kirkpatrick said 63% goes to school maintenance and operations, 17% to district maintenance and operation, 9% to school bonds, 8% to the county fire department, and 3% to county bonds.

“My home, by appraisal and appreciation, went from $572,000 in 2020 to an estimated $856,000 in 2022,” Martin said. “My tax bill [went] From over $6000 to nearly $9,000 now. It’s almost a mortgage payment in and of itself.”

County and county officials emphasized, however, that property appraisal notices to community members received by mail are not invoices. The dollar amount shown in the valuation is an estimate based on the average of the millions in the previous year.

FCS spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo said that if the proposed change to the rate for millions of debt services is approved, property owners will see a drop in that rate when bills are sent later this year.

Another speaker at Tuesday’s hearing, Jesse Hagberg, said the district and county have not been clear to property owners about what the final tax bills will look like, making it difficult for members of the community to speak up when they aren’t sure exactly what the numbers mean.

“I went to art school,” Hagberg said. “I’m trying to figure it out only by guessing and I can’t get a clear answer. All I know is how much it costs every time I get that bill in the mail, and it makes my heart want to stop.”

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