The Hall County School Board unanimously agreed to increase your taxes tonight as predicted here earlier. They raised the millage rate to 18.49 mills, which is an increase of 0.82 mills from the current tax rate. Translated into English, this means that your property taxes will go up $.82 for each $1,000 of assessed property value. Governments like complicated tax calculations because it allows them to make all sorts of mostly untruthful statements about them to you before, during, and after an election.
The School Board used the process nicknamed a “roll up.” A roll up is a way for the government to punish you for decreasing property values mostly caused by them. Government is government. While you work harder and harder to pay for things, and your house value goes down and down, your taxes should go down too. You are cutting back, so why shouldn’t everyone else? Government NEVER sees the logic in this unless the particular politician is running for office at the time. However with a roll up, the government can increase the tax rate to keep the revenue they get from you even as your home value plumets. Interesting enough, state law allows this kind tax increase to be put in place without calling it a tax increase. See? A politician that just raised your taxes can look you straight in the eye and say, “I haven’t raised your taxes, its just a simple little ole’ roll up!”
You haven’t gotten anything more for your money, and through no fault of your own your house is worth less than it was before. However, the government isn’t satisfied with living with less, so they do what they do naturally–they ask you to pay more.
Now that I have beat up on the school board, lets put this in perspective. It could be worse. Hall County residents pay roughly $7,400 per student. The Atlanta Public Schools spend $14,000 per student and Gwinnett County Schools spend $9,000 per student. So I have to thank the Hall County School Board for keeping the budget (and consequently the taxes) as low as they are.
Several members of the school board including Craig Harrington and possibly the superintendent are scheduled to appear at the Hall County GOP Conservative Forum on Saturday, September 8, 2012. I hope you will join me at the Georgia History Center at 10:30 AM to hear what they have to say.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.