E-SPLOST has NOT Kept Property Taxes from Increasing
In 1999, the earliest year readily available for search, the millage rate for schools was 8.5. This year, the millage rate is 11.780, an increase of 38.6%
The recent decrease in the millage rate from 11.787 to 11.780 will save the property owner with a fair market value of $200,000 $.056 this year. That is 56 CENTS.
While it is true that we have a lower tax millage rate than many Georgia Counties, we can attribute this more to non-resident second home owners, and high assessments than to E-SPLOST.
Property tax revenue (adjusted for inflation) has increased three fold since the E-SPLOST was instituted, from $5,037,467 in 1998 to $16,050,563 in FY 2016 (which would really be tax year 2015). School enrollment has increased only 5.3%
This increase in revenue vs. school enrollment is excessive when compared to our neighboring counties.
The state contribution as a percentage today is less than it was in 1998, however Federal Funding has actually increased from 5.8% in 1998 to 6.25% in 2016.
Conclusion – There is no evidence that the E-SPLOST has kept property taxes low, and there is evidence that property taxes and revenue have increased dramatically in the years since the tax has been in place.