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OCS Recommends Millage Rate, Announces Public Hearings

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WATKINSVILLE, Ga. — Oconee County Schools is recommending a total millage rate of 15.0 mills for Fiscal Year 2024 and has set dates for three public hearings on the millage rate.


On June 5, the Oconee County Board of Education tentatively adopted a millage rate of 15.5 mills based on a county tax digest estimate. The final tax digest now has been provided by the county’s tax commissioner.


Although the recommended millage rate has decreased, Georgia law requires the millage rate of 15.0 to be advertised as a property tax increase because the assessed value of existing property in Oconee County has increased since last year.


Three public hearings will take place on July 24 at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and on July 31 at 5:30 p.m. in the OCS Board Room at 34 School Street, Watkinsville. Oconee County residents are invited to attend.


This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 15.0 mills, an increase of 1.305 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 13.695 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $500,000 is approximately $258.39 and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $475,000 is approximately $247.95.


The Fiscal Year 2024 budget of $105,970,180 was approved at the Board’s June 5 meeting. All OCS teachers and staff will receive a five percent salary improvement for a total of $3,675,000, while staffing for the new Dove Creek Middle School will cost $1,750,000.


Additional key inclusions in the budget are:

• Health insurance employer contribution increase ($5,000,000)

• Twenty-four new growth positions ($2,272,000)

• Step increases for all eligible staff ($785,000)

• Academic and coaching supplement increases ($326,000)

• Funds for the Oconee County Sheriff's Department to provide traffic control at schools ($169,000)

• Salary adjustments for paraprofessionals ($120,000)

• Technology improvements ($107,000)

• A $2,000 supplement for special education paraprofessionals ($58,000)


The budget consists of 72 percent for direct instruction, 22 percent for support services, and six percent for instructional support. The budget will be financed by state and local revenue.


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