School board votes to maintain millage rate

SUWANEE -- During its regular monthly meeting, the Gwinnett County Board of Education voted to keep the school district's portion of the millage rate the same for the eighth straight year.

In a 5-0 vote, board members passed the measure to approve a millage rate in supporting the Fiscal Year 2013 budget at 19.25 mills for maintenance and operations and 1.30 mills for debt service.

In May, the Gwinnett County Board of Education unanimously approved a $1.7 billion budget for FY 2013.

At the county level, Gwinnett's Chief Appraiser Steve Pruitt told commissioners this week that numbers show about a 6 percent decline in the county's property tax digest.

While thousands of appeals are still pending, Pruitt said he expects the digest of all county property to be $23.6 billion, instead of the $22.8 billion projected two years ago.

Based on the numbers, officials prepared two possible scenarios for county property taxes: either remaining at 13.02 mills, which would mean a nearly $15 million loss in revenue compared to 2011, or "rolling up" the property tax rate to 13.80 mills.

County commissioners could make a final decision on the government rate July 17, with tax bills expected to be mailed Aug. 15 and due Oct. 15.