Haralson County Commision Votes to Request Fee Hike for Collecting School Taxes

Haralson County Ga -- Haralson County Schools Superintendent Jerry Bell is expressing concern over a proposal by the Haralson County Board of Commissioners, that Bell said could ultimately result in costing the school district about $200,000 annually.

Haralson County Commission Chairman Allen Poole confirms that commissioners have voted to ask the local delegation to go before the state legislature, and request that Haralson County government be allowed to ask county voters to decide if it would be OK to hike the fee for collecting the school district's tax dollars.
The school district's current collection charge is .5%. The proposal would ask for the rate to be raised to 2.5% of assessments, which Poole said is the maximum allowed by the state.

Poole said, "We don't want to do anything that will hurt the students of the county but we just felt that we could ask for the 2.5%... which the law says... and it really wouldn't hurt anybody. It would just help us to be able to meet our continued obligation."

The continued obligation: as county officials point out is the significant cost to paying assessors and the tax commissioner's office. Poole's office says that based on the revenue generated for each body, the fee increase will more evenly distribute the shared cost. And, the law also allows for it.

But still, Superintendent Bell says he is concerned that the fee increase could negatively impact his school district.

Bell commented, "We're trying to work hard to establish a school district that cannot only provide for our students and do what's right for them but also that can be a light for the county to go out here and be able to bring in industry. I'm concerned about the decision and how it affects our schools. Because if you take $200,000 out of our budget we've got to find that somewhere. So that means that I have to look at programs and I've got to look at personnel. We've made a lot of cuts and the programs that we have now are necessary. The ones that are affected aren't curricular."  

If the local delegation does take the proposal to state legislators, it could then be approved for a referendum that would then be brought before Haralson County voters.
A referendum could happen as soon as early 2018.
Filed Under :
Topics : Education
Location : Haralson County
People : Allen PooleJerry Bell