Posted: Thursday, July 26th 2012 at 7:52pm
Hall Commission wants school millage rate set ASAP
By Marc Eggers Staff
GAINESVILLE – The Hall County Commission will be studying the possibility of levying a fine against the Hall County School Board due to the School Board’s delay in setting their millage rate for the upcoming budget year.
Commissioner Craig Lutz suggested the strategy during Thursday’s Commission meeting.
“We are required to submit our tax digest to the state on August 1, and we are not able to because we did not receive the millage from the School Board,” Lutz said.
“We have gotten an extension on that. However, it could put us, the County, into somewhat of a bind as it could jeopardize cash flow for the County,” Lutz continued.
“What I would like…is to have the staff pull the intergovernmental agreement between Hall County and the School Board…and look to see if there is anything we can do...to perhaps establish a penalty going forward to insure that they handle their business that’s required by law on time, and not put the County Commission in any kind of jeopardy.”
Lutz added later, “Basically, it’s a situation where the School Board is a recommending authority for the tax digest, and we haven’t gotten their recommendation yet as to what they want the millage to be. I think we’re going to have to have a special meeting to get it approved.”
“That’s put a cost and a burden on us (the Commission)…if they are going to continue to operate that way in the future, they should pay for it,” Lutz said.
Hall County School Superintendent Will Schofield is out of the country and unavailable for comment, but School Board Chairman Nath Morris was kind enough to address the matter from his home.
Morris admitted that it was the first he had heard about the situation.
“I’m a little surprised to hear this,” Morris said. “Nobody from the Commission has contacted me about setting the millage rate.”
“But we do have a meeting with the tax assessor at our work session on August 6th. Our intention is to set the millage at that point.”
“We are in a position where we have lost a lot of money from the state,” Morris explained. “We want to make sure that we are making the right decision, not make any hasty decision that would create any issues with our budget or the taxpayers.”
“I’d invite a call from Mr. Lutz if he wants to discuss it,” Morris added.
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