Hamilton County School District

JASPER — The Hamilton County School Board approved both a millage rate and budget that are slightly smaller than the current figures.

In a July 30 public hearing that included nobody from the public, the board unanimously approved the tentative millage rate for the 2019-20 fiscal year at 6.236 mills.

That rate is 1.86 percent higher than the rollback rate, or the tax rate that will provide the same amount of tax revenue as the previous year’s rate.

But is is down from the current rate of 6.434 mills due to a decrease in the required local effort as set by the state. That rate is 3.738 mills and included a late adjustment.

“The required local effort rolls back when our property value goes up,” Superintendent Rex Mitchell added after Michael Vinson, the district’s Director of Business Services, told the board about that late adjustment in the figure.

The capital outlay (1.5 mills), discretionary operating (0.748) and additional voted millage for operations (0.25 mills) were not changed from the current rate.

Total, the school district’s tax levy will generate $5.3 million.

The board also unanimously approved a tentative budget of $22.98 million, which is also down slightly from this year’s $23.39 million budget.

Vinson said a quick glance at the general fund in the proposed budget shows a healthier beginning fund balance than two years ago.

“We’re always very conservative with our budgeting,” Vinson said. “There’s a lot of good things that we believe will happen this year that should show up on the positive side.”

Both the millage rate and budget will have to be approved a second time in a September hearing.

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