“I’m happy, especially in these austere economic times, to keep the same rate,” Schools Superintendent Ed Smith said.
The tax is expected to generate $36.7 million, an increase of 2.7 percent over last year, largely because of Kia Motors and its suppliers. The residential side of the tax digest went down, probably for the first time in history, county finance officer Don Miller said.
Other major revenue sources in the school system’s $104 million budget are $61 million from the state and $3.4 million from the federal stimulus package.
Tax Commissioner Gary Wood this week reminded homeowners to brace themselves for an extra dose of taxes now that the cash-strapped state government has done away with a homestead exemption that had been in effect for the past 10 years.
Most homeowners in LaGrange and the unincorporated area will pay an extra $237, while those in West Point and Hogansville will pay an extra $315 and $300, respectively.
“It’s unfortunate in slow economic times to have to deliver this message,” Wood said. “But homeowners need to know now in order to prepare for the additional cost.”
Tax bills will go out no later than Sept. 1 and are due Nov. 15.
In other business Thursday, the school board:
— Voted to pay $1,040,112.07 to Hawkins Oil Co. in LaGrange for 364,837 gallons of diesel and 44,305 gallons of gasoline over the next 12 months.
— Agreed to pay $66,671 to BB&T Insurance Services in Thomaston for athletic medical insurance in the new fiscal year. Students are responsible for premiums of $44 and $28 for high school athletics and band, respectively, and $38 and $23 for middle school athletics and band.
— And approved a yearly contract of $199,752.82 with West Georgia RESA for occupational therapy services.
Joel Martin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 884-7311, Ext. 235.