What will property tax hike mean?

So, what will a 9-mill property tax increase for schools mean to your pocketbook?

The Shelby County Board of Education is seeking such an increase to finance a five-year capital outlay plan that will cost about $150 million to implement.

According to School Superintendent Evan Major, the money will be earmarked only for capital improvements, and the additional 9 mills will generate about $13.7 million the first year.

He said the 9-mill tax will mark the first time the school system has earmarked a tax specifically for capital outlay, or physical needs like building and transportation.

Major has been school superintendent for five years and been with the school system for 37 years.

The tax increase will be added to 30 mills for schools already in place, according to school officials, for a total of 39 mills.

And according to Assistant Superintendent of Finance Jim Davis, the entire tax millage collected for the school system will run out in 2017.

A mill is one tenth of one cent ($.01) or

one thousandth of a dollar ($.001) But, according to Davis, the ad valorem tax on residential property for schools is based on 10 percent the market value of the home.

A home valued at $100,000, therefore, will be taxed at 10 percent the assessed market value or $10,000. A 9-mill tax increase would mean $90 in additional property tax revenue or a total of $390 in property taxes for schools.

The formula is $100,000 assessed at 10 percent of market value or $10,000. That times 9 mills would be $10,000 multiplied by .009 or $90. And to get the total for schools of 39 mills the formula would be $10,000 multiplied by .039 or $390.

A home valued at $150,000 would be taxed on $15,000. The additional 9 mills would mean an additional $135 or a total of $585 for schools.

A home valued at $200,000 would be taxed at 10 percent or $20,000. The 9-mill increase represents an increase of $180 dollars or a total tax for schools of $780 for schools.

Major said the five-year plan includes five new schools, a projected 250 classrooms, land acquisitions for future schools, gymnasium improvements, roofing projects, kitchen/cafeteria improvements, extensive interior/exterior renovations, parking improvements, buses and transportation.

As to financial accountability, Major said the school system receives exemplary state audits with no major findings, no money missing and only 1.697 percent of the budget used for the central office.

&uot;The Shelby County Board of Education is a good steward of your tax money,&uot; he said.

But, he stressed, &uot;The plan will not be funded without additional revenues.&uot;

Following approval by the Shelby County Board of Education of the five-year plan on Jan. 16 and a resolution seeking help from the Shelby County Commission to get the state legislature to put the issue on the ballot, County Commissioners recently voted unanimously to send the request to the Shelby County legislative delegation.

Major said the school system would like to have the matter brought to a public vote in May to begin immediate collection of the taxes