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BOE holds first millage rate meeting

SUWANEE - The Gwinnett County Board of Education will hold three public hearings before adopting the millage rate June 9.

The first meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Monday at the Instructional Support Center at 437 Old Peachtree Road in Suwanee. The next two meetings are scheduled for 11:45 a.m. and 7 p.m. on June 9.

The school board is looking to maintain the current total school millage rate of 20.55, according to a news release. The total school millage rate is made up of two portions - the maintenance and operations millage, which is 19.25 mills, and the debt service millage, which is 1.3 mills.

Funds generated by the maintenance and operations millage pay for the day-to-day operations of the school system, including employee salaries, instructional materials, student transportation and school utility costs. The debt-service millage is used to pay down the school board's long-term debt from bond referenda passed over the years to pay for school construction, the news release states.

To keep the local tax digest current, the Gwinnett County Tax Assessor's Office conducts annual property value reassessments on a rotating basis. By law, local taxing authorities such as the school board must either keep their tax collections revenue-neutral by decreasing the millage rate to offset the gained taxes from the property value updates or announce a tax increase even though the actual millage rate isn't increasing, the news release states.

The school board tentatively adopted the millage rate in May when it approved the school system's nearly $1.9 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Residents may address the school board at any of the public hearings. A sign-up sheet will be available at the meetings for those wishing to speak. There is no need to sign up in advance of the meeting date.

SideBar: If you go

· What: Gwinnett County Board of Education's public hearings on the proposed millage rate

· When: 7 p.m. Monday and 11:45 a.m. and 7 p.m. June 9

· Where: Board Room, Instructional Support Center, 437 Old Peachtree Road, Suwanee

· Note: The school board is expected to adopt the millage rate after the third public hearing on June 9.