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School board considering cuts to calendar days, programs

CONYERS — Decreasing local tax revenues may force Rockdale County Public Schools to add more furlough days, increase class sizes and the millage rate, enact a Reduction in Force and close long-time nontraditional programs like its alternative school and Early Learning Center.

The Rockdale County Board of Education is considering cuts to avoid a nearly $20 million budget deficit next school year.

Officials with RCPS reported Thursday during a special called meeting of the board’s finance committee that its deficit is expected to be even more than they originally thought.

After talking with local tax officials Monday, school officials now believe that the system could face a budget deficit of more than $19 million if cuts aren’t made.

RCPS Superintendent Richard Autry reported Thursday that last year, the county’s tax digest was based on a negative 4 percent growth.

Last month, he said tax officials predicted this year’s digest would triple to a negative 12 percent growth, which would have helped cause a $14 million budget deficit for RCPS.

Now, he said tax officials believe it will be a negative 20 percent growth, which would increase the system’s deficit to nearly $20 million.

Increasing insurance costs and decreased state funding also have contributed to the anticipated deficit, officials have reported.

Overall, local revenue projections for next school year are estimated to be more than $44 million, state revenue is estimated at more than $68 million and federal revenue is estimated at less than $500,000. RCPS Chief Financial Officer Lee Davis reported that local revenues used to be more than half of the budget.

Salaries and benefits account for nearly $115 million of expenditures, which is 87 percent of the budget; non-salary expenditures, like insurance and utilities, or items that usually cannot be reduced, account for $17.6 million, Davis said.

During Thursday’s committee meeting, system officials presented the board with several options that could decrease next school year’s budget expenditures.

“Some of these things, they’re drastic, and a lot of (the cuts) is why we’ve been successful,” Davis admitted. “Anything we considered we want to make sure to have a minimal impact on our students.”

Officials noted that the list of considerations are not final.

“Nothing is decided. We have to move forward in some direction,” said RCPS Superintendent Richard Autry about why a list of possible cuts was created. “There has to be some discussion if you’re going to cut $19 million. … These are things we’re discussing. I’m hopeful for solutions to bubble up — our work is nowhere near done.”

The list, which was created through feedback from an internal budget committee and system reviews, includes:

• five calendar adjustment days for all employees ($2,602,490)

Currently, RCPS employees are experiencing three furlough days.

• one additional calendar adjustment day for more than 200-day employees ($82,417)

These employees include principals and central office employees.

• 10 percent central office department budget decrease ($214,650)

• Reduction in Force of 20 central office employees (two in building and grounds, seven in transportation, a literacy coach, nine special education consultants, an early learning coordinator) ($1,020,000)

Additionally, schools now are under a hiring freeze.

Some of the reduced employees will come through attrition — employees that already or plan to resign or retire this school year. Davis added that he hopes any other reductions will be able to have employees placed in other positions.

• Reduction of 10 instructional technology positions ($795,565)

Currently each school employs an instructional technology specialist. With the elimination of 10 positions, some schools would share specialists by geographic locations.

• Elimination of all media clerks ($497,083)

Media specialists would remain employed. Currently each school employs a media specialist and a media clerk.

• 160-day student calendar with extended school day ($801,160)

A normal school year calendar is 190 days for teachers and 180 days for students.

Even with a shortened calendar, teachers would get five furlough days because about 20 minutes would be added to each school day, school officials said.

Officials will continue to look at other calendar options, including a four-day school week, but those options may not have as much cost savings, Davis said. Savings are seen in transportation and utilities.

• Elimination of the nontraditional programs Open Campus, Alpha Academy alternative school and the Early Learning Center at the Rockdale Career Academy ($1,880,000)

It costs $1.3 million to run Open Campus and $1.2 million to run Alpha, but some costs will be incurred when students and teachers are moved back to home schools, Davis said.

Officials said that the system has applied for two Georgia lottery funded prekindergarten classes at RCA but have yet to find out if they will be approved for next school year.

School officials added that the Virtual Campus program would remain open — it actually saves the system money. Potentially in the future, it could be a revenue stream if out-of-county students pay for courses, Autry added.

• Defer math textbooks purchases ($1,000,000)

• Increase class size ratios (22.7 to 1 at elementary schools, 28.3 to 1 at middle schools, 22.2 to 1 at high schools) ($3,080,000)

Davis noted that the class size ratios aren’t such in reality because of additional teachers schools earn because of Title I funding and gifted learning.

All of the proposed cuts would total to nearly $12 million, so the board would still need to cut more than $7 million to avoid a deficit.

Other potential revenue sources include:

• partial use of fund balance (up to $3,000,000)

This year, the school board approved the use of $2.1 million to draw from the fund balance. At the end of this school year on June 30, Davis expects the fund balance to be around $9 million.

The use of part of the fund balance next year would cause the fund balance to drop to about $6 million, or 5 percent of the budget. State officials prefer school systems to have a 10 percent fund balance to use for emergencies, school officials have said.

• 1- to 4- mil increase ($1,800,000 to $7,200,000)

• tentative rollback millage rate (5.2 mil increase) ($9,360,000)

Currently, the school system’s millage rate is set at 24.5 mils; its legal cap is 30 mils.

Davis reported that the value of a mil has dropped from $2.8 million in 2009 to an anticipated $1.8 million this year, so even if the school board set the rate at the roll back rate, a deficit would still occur.

Davis said he doesn’t know why Rockdale County seems to be more adversely impacted this year, compared to surrounding counties. He added that Rockdale continues to top the state’s foreclosure list and that entire neighborhoods are being reassessed if they include a certain number of short sales and homes below market value.

“I don’t know of anyone seeing a 20 percent drop in one year,” he said, adding that the largest drop he’s ever heard of is 12 percent. “That’s a huge decrease in one year. I’ve never seen that.”

Autry added, “It seems at every corner, there is a financial pitfall that we’ve not encountered before. … Who would have predicted this long of an economic downturn for all of us? Who would have predicted this for one school district?”

Due to the changing information on revenues, Autry told the board that he was holding off on presenting a tentative budget for next school year, as he was scheduled to do this week.

“It’s going to be a very difficult budget. It’s the biggest deficit I’ve seen since I’ve been with Rockdale County. We’ve got a lot of hard work to do,” Davis said. “I know we will bring you a good product.”

School board attorney Jack Lance said that the school board legally must approve a final budget or a spending resolution for next school year by July 1. Autry said he anticipated presenting a budget to the board before then because schools were trying to plan for staffing allotments and schedules next year, and employees need to know the plan.

“I’m confident we’ll still be in compliance with the necessary timeline,” Autry said. “I’m very concerned about the potential of this budget and about the impact, first and foremost, on the young people, and second, on our staff. Not one thing on this list I want to do as superintendent.”

He said these programs that are being discussed to be cut are proven programs that save lives.

“We’ve never faced anything close to this before,” he said.

Officials said they are trying to remain positive and develop a plan to move forward.

“We’re just trying to maintain what we have,” Autry said.

System officials will continue to meet together and with tax officials to determine the final outcome, and the board’s budget committee may hold another called meeting later to discuss further budget developments. Additionally, the internal calendar committee is expected to meet to develop additional calendar options for next school year.

School officials planned to send a letter to staff on Friday.

“We are steadfast and we will figure this out,” Autry said. “We’re not sinking. We’ll figure out a way, and hopefully we can keep these programs that have kept us successful.”

Comments

John_Galt 1 year, 5 months ago

With a millage increase, wil there be room in the budget for tar and feathers?

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WayBack 1 year, 5 months ago

I wonder if clamping down on the number of students who are stealing education (out of district/county without permission) would help.

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VPublicola 1 year, 5 months ago

Good idea, but I question what the cost:benefit ratio would be. The cost of identifying such persons and gathering sufficient information to take appropriate action may be equal to or greater than the benefit gained. Such information would be useful!

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WayBack 1 year, 5 months ago

I totally agree with you. It's frustrating!

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Turtle 1 year, 5 months ago

Great question! This has been a problem for years and nothing has been done. Now is the time to stop out of county students from stealing an education from Rockdale County taxpayers. Hire a retired policeman or private investigator to investigate students in question. This would not be hard to do, and when dozens of families are withdrawing their children others would follow. Class sizes would go down and less behavior problem students to deal with. Teachers could teach, students could learn - everyone wins!!!!!

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VeritasVincit 1 year, 5 months ago

Happy "Teacher Appreciation Week", guess what might be happening to your job? Read the paper to find out.

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renae81178 1 year, 5 months ago

Why don't we cut out all these extra weeks out so the students can be home during the hottest part of the summer to save on electricity. WHY do teachers & staff need all these weeks off. Jasper County has been out since May 3rd, wonder how much water, electricity & etc. they are saving. WE have LAZY staff in our school system. Get the kids in there, get there education & give them there summer....

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whatdoyouthink 1 year, 5 months ago

I would imagine that they're on the 160 day calendar. I think Barrow county gets out this week. It would probably be wiser to start school two weeks later to avoid the late July/early August heat. Here's another idea, has anyone ever driven by a school and noticed all the lights that are on 24/7? Not that it would save a whole lot of money, but pinching pennies is pinching pennies!

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WayBack 1 year, 5 months ago

There are a couple of things wrong with your comment: a)Teachers and staff don't "need weeks off." We work when our employers tell us to work. The teachers and staff do not create the calendar. b) It should be noted that most of us work many, many hours beyond our assigned schedule with no overtime pay. Evenings and weekends are spent planning and studying for the lessons we teach your children. I suspect that we also spend more time being concerned about our students' grades than their parents do. c) I have no way to politely respond to your comment about laziness. Please see points "a" and "b." d) If you mean "there" in the possessive, it should be spelled "their." e) you don't need an ampersand with "etc."-- "etc" means "and the rest." f) Does your question mark key not work, or are you too lazy to use correct punctuation?

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WayBack 1 year, 5 months ago

** I should amend that to say that we spend more time worrying about grades than SOME parents do. We have some amazing and supportive families in this town-- many of our students reflect the greatness of their home life.

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Frustrated 1 year, 5 months ago

With the elimination of the Alpha school what will happen to those that disobey the rules and disrupt classes? Will they remain in the class and continue to be disruptive with no punishment?

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VPublicola 1 year, 5 months ago

One solution:

Dear Disruptive Student:

As a result of budgetary challenges, the RCPS finds it requisite to close the ALPHA school to meet budgetary constraints. Based on your consistent history of disruptive behavior, deliquency and a pattern that indicates you do not value your own education, you are hereby expelled from the RCPS system. While you may find this disappointing, this is a necessary action that we must take to ensure meeting the educational needs of the vast majority of RCPS students whose past actions and history indicate they value education and do not have consistent discplinary and deliquent behavior issues.

A valuable life lesson is that the choices each indivdual makes as they move forward through life determine their future. We believe that individuals should be held accountable for their decisions. It is our sincere hope that you seize this opportunity to reflect upon this valuable life lesson and will make better decision as you move forward. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

RCPS

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WayBack 1 year, 5 months ago

Yes! I wish this could happen!!

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REK 1 year, 5 months ago

Send them back to Clayton where they actually live.

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olemissreb 1 year, 5 months ago

Thank goodness my oldest son only has one more year in RCPS. Getting rid of Alpha School? What are they thinking? Oh wait, they're not! Thankfully, my son is in Magnet so his class size should be unaffected. My youngest son is in a private school and has no desire to follow in his brother's footsteps. Thank Goodness! Almost 16 years ago, when we moved here, I would have been happy to send him to my local government school, but things have gone downhill academically so much since then, I think it's a better investment to spend the money for private school - and with the elimination of Alpha probably safer too!

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VPublicola 1 year, 5 months ago

Good point about Magnet School. However, this program should also share the burden of meeting this budgetary challenge.

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Turtle 1 year, 5 months ago

Leave this program alone. These students have proven for years they care about and want the best education possible. These are the students that will be our future leaders and make the Rockdale County School System look great!

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VPublicola 1 year, 5 months ago

Nope. Cuts should be equitably applied to this program as well. I have interacted with some of these young adults. Magnet is overrated. Why do they (RCPS) not distinguish between standardized test scores or school rankings/grades between Rockdale High School and Magnet? Maybe one is needed as a crutch to hold up the other.

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olemissreb 1 year, 5 months ago

I have to agree with Turtle on this one. I won't say the Magnet school is self sufficient, but The Magnet Fund (aka PTA) has a $100K budget to cover the costs of Magnet students travels to science competitions and various other things where the students are representing Rockdale County. The incoming class of 2017 will be the largest admitted since the inception of RMSST. Those teachers that teach the freshmen will have larger classes. Some of those incoming students will drop out at some point in their high school career. I know a few of the personnel at Magnet are now down to 1/2 time or 3/4 time and a few others are doing double duty. They do what they can with what they have and operate as bare bones as possible with the Magnet Fund helping to cover things that would otherwise tax the system as a whole.

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ladydawg 1 year, 5 months ago

Yes, education is exactly where we need to make drastic cuts (eye roll). And @ Frustrated, hello you know those kids won't be going to class. They will be milling around on the street while their parental unit talks about how unfair society has been to their kid.

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Frustrated 1 year, 5 months ago

We all know that the school system dare not expel or punish these poor victims of an overbearing discplinary code. ( like they enforce the rules anyway)

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Rob 1 year, 5 months ago

Education is EXACTLY where we need to make cuts. WE spend more money on education than any nation on earth! Yet we have some of the dumbest kids. Money is NOT the problem. Teacher's Unions are the problem!

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ladydawg 1 year, 5 months ago

Oh Rob, I agree with you totally. Some of the worst educational systems in the US spend the most money per pupil (DC public, Chicago city schools, etc). I was just referring to some of things they were cutting. Even in the alleged well run districts, the kids are ill prepared for rigorous academic environments. Hence, why many positions remain vacant here. The US has always and will continue to lag educationally as a result.

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VPublicola 1 year, 5 months ago

Georgia is a Right to Work state; the 'Unions are to blame' political soundbytes are a distraction from the real problems and the need to deal with those problems. Politicians, parents and ignorant voters are the problem.

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Clark 1 year, 5 months ago

Yes, exactly, all those unions are the problem. Oh wait, teacher's unions are illegal in this state, and the states where they aren't actually have consistently good schools. Try again.

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ladydawg 1 year, 5 months ago

Of course parents area huge part of the problem. Too many parents are not concerned with raising a productive citizen, but rather are concerned where the next boyfriend or tattoo comes from. And unions can be both good and bad. Throwing additional money at education (when homelife is where it all begin, won't solve the problem of unconcerned parents and kids who think life is a free ride. Educators have tough jobs, but they can't work miracles with every student.

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bobp99 1 year, 5 months ago

A 22+ to one student teacher ratio in elementary schools?? That's not education - that's crowd control!

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Elmo 1 year, 5 months ago

When I went to RCHS, the ratio was typically 32:1, but was rarely a problem as we had adults running the show.

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Rob 1 year, 5 months ago

Class size isn't the problem. The Teacher's Unions will demand smaller class sizes so they can employ more teachers but study after study proves there is no negative effect of larger class sizes........As long as we have responsible adults running the show

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Firefly1 1 year, 5 months ago

I agree that class size is not the issue. However, Teacher's Unions cannot be blamed when there are no Teacher's Unions in the state of Georgia, at least in the tradition sense. PAGE does provide some tort liability coverage, legal counsel, and lobbies for education. Yet there are no salary negotiations with PAGE and the local district. If PAGE were to call a strike, no teacher with PAGE membership would be bound to follow suit. So in effect, the decisions about education come from the local Board, the local administration, and the State Board of Education not from a Teacher's Union.

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diamonddodge9 1 year, 5 months ago

My daughter has 22 children in her Kindergarden class now...

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kt 1 year, 5 months ago

Can I please keep my property tax money to fund my kids necessary private school tuition bills?

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superman 1 year, 5 months ago

Don't I recall that the RCPS millage rate is already higher than the legally allowed rate or was that something else? Why did they choose not to renew the SPLOST? Not complaining about paying less for things in Rockdale- but seems like they should have kept that revenue stream coming in...

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buck 1 year, 5 months ago

RCPS millage rate is the highest in the State of Georgia but it is legal because all the other countys except two are capped at 20 mils. Rockdale has a 30 mil cap. They have a ways to go to reach the cap but I'm sure they will get there soon! The current rate is 24.5 mils I beleive.

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BOCWatch 1 year, 5 months ago

Yes, Rockdale is one of several counties that can exceed the 20 mil cap on education taxation; while there are several counties that can exceed there are currently only 3 that do exceed, Rockdale, Dekalb and Muscogee.

We did a program on this back in 2010; you will find all you want to know about it at the below link:

http://bocwatch.org/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=462

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EarlyBird 1 year, 5 months ago

There is a simple and quick way to fix the budget for the school system. SCREEN FOR AND GET RID OF THE ILLEGALS. The parents of the illegals are certainly not paying any of the sky high millage rate that Barksdale and his band of buffoons saddled us with.

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VeritasVincit 1 year, 5 months ago

How much did the grade program that is being thrown out cost? How many unnecessary meetings have there been where teachers were pulled and subs paid for? If the surrounding counties were experiencing shortfalls why did we not prepare more for this financial crisis? Will we still have all of these schools-within-schools?

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Plaincitizen 1 year, 5 months ago

"If the surrounding counties were experiencing shortfalls why did we not prepare more for this financial crisis?" Are you serious??? It's because RCPS planned and budgeted so well that they are only just now having to make cuts as drastic as these when everyone else has already been suffering much much more. RCPS has been working miracles for the past 5 years on austerity cuts and decreased funding.

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citizencane 1 year, 5 months ago

People voted SPLOST out. Just like I want to do. Get out

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ladydawg 1 year, 5 months ago

Nice try trying to say the main problem is that Rockdale tops the state in foreclosures. Metro Atlanta has been heavily impacted by foreclosures, but this county isn't the top county. However, I'm sure there are many residents who will take the credit hit just to get out of the county. Oh, and they won't have to send their kids to private school in many areas. Many hardworking people are picking up and moving to Oconee, Morgan, and areas north. They know they own or are paying a mortgage on a sinking ship here.

Foreclosures will continue and for those folks stuck with their house, well they won't be able to sell it due to declining values. But at least Hollywood likes the area. That's a saving grace, but of course those peeps don't live here.

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Rob 1 year, 5 months ago

"Salaries and benefits account for nearly $115 million of expenditures, which is 87 percent of the budget". Pretty obvious to me where the problem is! Let's start with reducing Autry's ridiculous salary. There's a reason Rockdale's tax base is crumbling, but no one here will admit it. We have been infected with the DeKalb entitlement crowd and us responsible, working people no longer want to be here (which is why I just moved out of Rockdale). But go ahead keep voting for the Oden's, Nesbits, etc and you will get what ask for people!

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eyewitness 1 year, 5 months ago

I agree 100% Rob. The waste at the central office is unreal. In Newton County there is massive waste on these instructional coaches who drive classroom teachers into early retirement. There is so much money being misused and taken away from classrooms and teaching. I can promise you there are no classroom teachers making six figures but a lot of counselors and admins who sit all day in their safe walled offices are being paid 80K and up for very little work. No wonder teachers are leaving. Private and charter schools will be the wave of the future and very soon.

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VPublicola 1 year, 5 months ago

"Salaries and benefits account for nearly $115 million of expenditures, which is 87 percent of the budget".

So? You do realize that if you reduced 'personal services' in the budget by 10% that salaries and benefits would still be 87% of the budget. Some operations, be it government or private buisness, are service oriented and therefore the expenses of such operations will be tied up in salaries & benefits. If I recall correctly, when King left and Autry was hired the superintendent's salary did decrease, significantly.

Rob, in which county do you now reside?

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Plaincitizen 1 year, 5 months ago

ALL budgets of ANY school system spend between 85% and 90% of the budget on salaries and benefits. They have to be. I hate when people comment on things they don't understand. All RCPS employees have had their salaries cut for the past few years and positions have been reduced. Let's keep hating on education and we'll lose all the good, qualified people to work in the distric - from Central Office straight down to the classroom.

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VPublicola 1 year, 5 months ago

How many of you have received your property tax appraisals? If your valuation dropped significantly, how many of you honestly believe that valuation reflects the fair market value (FMV) of your property? What if the valuation is substantially lower than the FMV? If so, would you appeal to have it raised to the FMV? If you believe and the data indicates that your valuation is lower than FMV, then will you be honest and fulfill your civic responsibility? I think we all know what most people will do.

I consider these important considerations because these valuations are what determine the funding for the school and county budgets. We all know that the current tax commissioner is unqualified to hold the office that the "R"-word granted him. I recently received my valuation and was very skeptical of the reduced value. After reviewing 2012 sales for my neighborhood, I discovered that the tax assessors valuation is about $10,000-11,000 below FMV. I have talked with other county residents and this seems to be a consistent error. What the heck is going on in the tax commissioners office? Incompetence can and apparently does result in serious budget ramifications to the county's education and O&M budgets.

Anyhow, I suspect that I may be the only Rockdale citizen that will be appealing my assessment because it is too far below FMV. That's right, I will be asking them to raise my assessment. Why? Because I am honest and it is my duty as a responsible citizen.

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techvet 1 year, 5 months ago

VPublicola, I received my property tax appraisal, the valuation dropped significantly to what my research has shown is the current FMV. Last year I went before the Board of Equalization as my assessed the value of my property at well above the current FMV. When I went before the board I presented supporting documentation and pictures of homes in the neighborhood and recommended they reduce the assessed value by 40,000 based on the documents I provided. The board reduced the value by $20,000. The current valuation I received in the mail matches the amount I originally proposed to the board. It would be interesting to find out what caused the county to finally assess home values more inline with current FMVs. When I was presenting my case to the Equalization board the count assessor was also presenting information to support the assessment. One question the assessor was asked by the board was why my property was valued at several dollars higher per foot then comprable properties. The assessor told them it was because I maintained my property so well! I could not believe an assessor would say that as propery valuation is based on like property recent sales. What that told me is that the county was charging me with how much they thought they could get away with based on the appearance of my home. There is a lot that the county can do to maintain neighborhood valuation but neglects to do. Street light maintenance, curb maintenance, street cleaning, street re-surfacing, etc.. The county has made it the responsibility of the home owners to submit requests to get repairs completed and then takes several months to several years to implement the fix. Curb repair the county has said is the responsibility of the owner. If the county is going to take a "hands off" approach to maintaining neighborhoods then I expect the FMV of homes in Rockdale to contiue to drop.

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kt 1 year, 5 months ago

I got my tax bill and my value dropped 60k. And guess what? This county can eat it for all I care. The people who actually care about their community are leaving in droves, we can't even keep the school system running for God's sake.

I'm a taxpayer, and yet I still have to use my extra money to send my child to private school so that they don't flounder and become failures in the public school system. So I'm going to take my reduced tax bill, use the money that would normally go in escrow, and have an extra nice vacation this year. And then I'm probably going to short sale this house and go buy one in a county that values education as well as the families who's children are receiving the education.

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ladydawg 1 year, 5 months ago

I've lived in several counties in GA, including the top rated one for education in the state. I wasn't overwhelmed. Again, public education overall is a bit of a joke in the U.S. I laugh when some of the parents in North Atlanta say "we have some of the best schools in the world." Try again. Georgia trails dramatically behind states leading in education and there are several states that lag behind GA. This is not to say there aren't wonderful educators in every district because there are. However, we have seriously dumbed down education in the U.S (partially because we live in an overly sensitve culture.) This is why so many technical positions go unfilled here. We prepare students to pin their interests and tweet what they are doing, but ask most kids a basic geography question. Crickets.

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buck 1 year, 5 months ago

Don't spend that money yet! Your house value went down but they will increase your tax rate (millage) which means the taxes you pay will be about the same as last year!

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maryinga 1 year, 5 months ago

Start cutting at the top and getting a lesser paycheck. Give it back to the education of the students. Take note on who is and isn't supose to be in our school system. Let the freeloaders do some jobs to help "pay" for free lunches, etc. If there is a will there is a way.

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emetib66 1 year, 5 months ago

We have the smallest county in Georgia and we have the highest millage rate of all (24.5). How can we let this happen. It's time to start at the top and start cutting jobs.

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scarylanding 1 year, 5 months ago

I was shocked and worried for our county when I got my assessment and it was 1/3 of the previous year. Frankly if the assessments are going to drop that much it is ok by me for millage to go up. My overall tax bill has always been lower than my friends from other counties. I have always considered Rockdale co. to be fair with taxes. Heck, years back when SPLOST raised more than expected we all got a tax break on our homes. To me that was responsible and has increased my trust. All I am saying is I truly do not mind investing in the school system. I don't want pay excessive amounts but when I look around, Rockdale Co has not ever done that. 1/3 of an assessment --How can that be responsible?

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buck 1 year, 5 months ago

Your real estate taxes should be lower. You're paying a 1% sales tax that the other counties aren't paying. It's called HOST, check it out, and SPLOST has NOTHING to do with your property taxes. So there's no way that they reduced your real estate taxes because they collected more money for SPLOST. Geez this is a big part of our problem! Uneducated voters!

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