Residents are receiving their annual assessment notices in the mail this week. The final budget hearings — to determine where their tax dollars go — will be happening later this month.
Henry County Schools and Henry County Government will both consider adoption of their fiscal year 2024 budgets in the upcoming weeks. Below is more info about each.
School Board Budget
Henry County Schools receives the largest share of property taxes, or about 60%. They also have the largest annual budget.
For the upcoming 2023–24 school year, the district is projecting expenses of $510 million dollars. The budget is paid for through a combo of state funds and local property taxes. Local taxes collect about $250 million.
Henry County Schools allocates 88% of its general fund budget, or $450.7 million, to personnel costs. This includes salaries and benefits. The upcoming budget has pay raises for teachers, bus drivers, parapros and clinic aides, among others. The budget also proposes to hire 45 more teachers and 11 additional assistant principals.
The school district has its final budget hearing scheduled for next Monday, May 8, at 6:30 pm. The board’s study session will precede the hearing at 4 pm. Finally, the board will consider adopting the budget at the 7 o’clock meeting. Board meetings take place at the district office in McDonough.
County Government Budget
Next, the county government receives about 35% of tax revenue. They are projecting budget expenses of $232 million for the next year. Property taxes comprise $125.7 million of that.
About half ($117 million) of the budget goes to public safety. The two largest departments — fire and police — receive $41.3 million and $36.5 million, respectively. Next, $46 million pays for general government. The judicial system ($26M) and public works ($14M) comprise the next two largest groups. Recreation, health & wellness and community development are each less than $10 million. A budget overview is on the county website.
The board held the first budget hearing on Tuesday morning, May 2. There were no speakers. A second budget hearing will take place on Tuesday, May 16. The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm. The board meets at the county admin building. They will also consider final adoption of the budget that night.
Though the boards approve their budgets in May, they do not set the millage rates until July. However, the annual budgets assume there will be no change in the millage rate. The mill rate determines how much everyone pays in property taxes.
Featured image shows the Henry County Admin Building in McDonough. Clayton Carte photo.
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