The Thomas County Board of Education has tentatively approved a rollback millage rate of 13.804 mills for 2021, a 2.4% reduction from the 2020 millage rate.
The proposed millage rate marks the ninth year in a row that the county board of education has reduced the school property tax rate. Thomas County School’s 2020 millage rate of 14.139 was the 34th lowest out of 180 school districts that can levy a tax, placing it in the bottom 19% of districts in the state. The state average school property tax rate for 2020 was 16.14 mills. Since school districts are in the process of adopting millage rates, comparison rates for 2021 are not yet available, but the school system’s proposed roll back rate is expected to once again be among the lowest property tax rates in the state.
Real and personal property values in the Thomas County School tax district increased 5.4% as compared to 2020. Since a portion of the school’s tax digest increase was in the form of individual property reassessments, the tax rate was rolled back to yield the same amount of revenue that would have been collected had the reassessments not occurred. Approximately $11.2 million of local property tax revenue is included in the system’s 2021-2022 budget.
Thomas County School System’s Deputy Superintendent for Finance, Joey Holland, commented, “Our tax digest for the current year includes real growth of 2.9%, which is actual building growth as opposed to inflationary growth from reassessments. Over the previous five years our tax digest has averaged real growth of less than 1%. This fact, along with other revenue factors I monitor, indicates our local economy is remaining strong during the current pandemic.”
Dr. Lisa Williams, Superintendent of Thomas County Schools, said, “I am very pleased the school board is able to roll back the millage rate for the ninth consecutive year. We consistently strive to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. On average, school systems in the state receive 40 percent of their budget from local sources, but our school system manages to operate with local taxpayers having to contribute only 26 percent of our total revenue.”
The Thomas County Board of Education is expected to give final approval of the millage rate at its meeting on August 10, at 7:00 PM, at the school board’s administrative offices located at 200 North Pinetree Boulevard.