The Butts County Board of Commissioners on Monday adopted the county’s budget and set the overall tax levy at 29.169 mills.
After the final public hearing on the millage rate, the BOC set its maintenance and operations millage rate at 12.209, where it has stood the previous two years. The county government’s budget of $20.13 million for fiscal year 2020 is $1.36 million more than the previous year’s budget.
Despite leaving the tax rate flat, the county is expected to take in more revenue in the coming year due to higher property values.
Butts County Commission Chairman Ken Rivers said the county’s budget absorbs health care insurance premium increases, funds some employee pay increases and boosts longtime employees’ retirement package.
The overall millage rate includes the county’s millage of 12.209, the Butts County Board of Education’s levy of 15.96 mills and the Butts County Hospital Authority’s 1 mill.
The Board of Education on Friday, after the hosting the final required public budget hearing, adopted its budget and millage rate and transmitted the tax rate to county officials for inclusion as part of Monday’s meeting. The school system’s millage rate was lowered from the previous year’s rate of 17.221, essentially leaving school taxes on existing properties flat for the coming year. School officials have said they do expect increased tax revenue, however, due to growth in the digest from new properties.
The school board’s fiscal 2020 spending plan of $32.51 million is $1.24 million more than the previous year’s budget and includes teacher pay increases, as well as some additional personnel.
As part of the 2019-20 budget, all certified teachers and staff will receive a $3,000 raise, a plan pushed by Gov. Brian P. Kemp for teachers across the state.
Local classified employees will also see a salary increase under next year’s budget. Former Superintendent Robert “Buddy” Costley said 2.5% raises are planned for staff including bus drivers, para-pros, clerical and other support staff, most of the cost of which is to be paid for by local sources.
This was the fifth year in a row that the Board of Education has lowered its millage rate.