Impact of Bibb school board's proposed millage rate unclear

It’s not clear whether the Bibb County school system’s proposed millage rate for fiscal 2010 would actually represent a tax break for property owners.

“If property values go up, in theory there could be a (rollback),” said school board member Tommy Barnes.

School officials held a work session late Wednesday to review projected revenues for its 2010 fiscal budget, which starts July 1.

The school system’s current millage rate is 19.79 mills and in its proposed 2010 budget, the system predicts a 16.22 millage rate, which could be a rollback.

School officials say it depends on the outcome of a county property revaluation, which is expected to produce a digest nearly 30 percent higher.

But homeowners have until early July to appeal their new home values, which the county hadn’t updated since 2001.

“Until we get the tax digest we won’t know that,” Superintendent Sharon Patterson said.

The Bibb County school system proposes in its general operating budget to spend about $185 million this coming school year, with $22 million spent on operations and the remaining bulk — $162.9 million — on salaries and benefits.

The school system is projecting $104 million from state funds, $6.7 million from federal funds, most of which are stimulus funds, and about $77 million from local revenue.

The system hopes to end the 2010 fiscal year with $12.4 million in its reserves.

The school board plans to meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

It will tentatively adopt the budget, allowing time for it to be announced in required legal notices and to hold two public hearings before June 30.