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Old 06-22-2017, 07:18 PM
 
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Hello,
I am looking to move to Georgia in 2018 and would anyone tell me which city has the lowest property taxes? And what district has the best schools?

Thank you...
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Old 06-22-2017, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,683 posts, read 17,790,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbccmclghln1 View Post
Hello,
I am looking to move to Georgia in 2018 and would anyone tell me which city has the lowest property taxes? And what district has the best schools?

Thank you...
Georgia schools are primarily funded by local property tax. Therefore, places with low property taxes generally have poor schools.
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Old 06-22-2017, 11:18 PM
 
1,497 posts, read 981,244 times
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Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
Georgia schools are primarily funded by local property tax. Therefore, places with low property taxes generally have poor schools.
NOt always the case. OUr property taxes were higher in Richmond County (Augusta) than here in Columbia County. Richmond County is near the bottom in the state for poor performing schools, whereas here in Columbia County, the schools rank among some of the best on the state. In the case of metro Atlanta, property taxes are higher in Dekalb than Gwinnett and Cobb counties.. but the latter counties have much better schools overall.
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Old 06-22-2017, 11:20 PM
 
1,497 posts, read 981,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbccmclghln1 View Post
Hello,
I am looking to move to Georgia in 2018 and would anyone tell me which city has the lowest property taxes? And what district has the best schools?

Thank you...
From my personal experience, the property tax burden here in Columbia County is very reasonable. We saw a reduction in our property taxes after moving from neighboring Richmond County... but the schools here are FAR better than Richmond County.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Macon, GA
1,186 posts, read 1,649,392 times
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Something else people forget is that places with better schools typically have higher valued housing so the tax rate can be lower and you still pay the same amount or so. There are some variations, but one has to view value, tax rate, etc as a whole package. We would need far more details to assist you with your question. You put Atlanta in your headline...there is a permanent thread devoted to schools on the Atlanta board. For details, you would get far more traffic if you post in the Atlanta subforum.

Last edited by midgeorgiaman; 06-29-2017 at 09:16 AM..
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:22 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA
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Originally Posted by midgeorgiaman View Post
Something else people forget is that places with better schools typically have higher valued housing so the tax rate can be lower and you still pay the same amount or so. There are some variations, but one has to view value, tax rate, etc as a whole package.
Yes and no.

Fayette County, for example, has a much higher value per millage rate than, say, Meriwether County (and most counties actually) because property is worth more. Fayette County schools are among the best (and highest funded) in the state, with a maximum applied annual millage rate near the state legal limit (19.5 of 20.0nfor the current year). As a result, Fayette has better facilities, smaller class sizes and extra programs (like string orchestras) that many larger systems do not have.

Spalding is the exact opposite. It's a chicken or an egg issue in the simplest sense, but really comes down to the value of taxable property plus how much of that value the local elected officials and residents are willing to tax. Higher property values equal better schools, but higher property values are almost impossible to achieve without somewhat decently funded schools to begin with. This is why it's so important for poor or marginal communities to build tax-producing industrial or commercial bases.

Last edited by Newsboy; 06-30-2017 at 01:03 AM..
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Macon, GA
1,186 posts, read 1,649,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
Yes and no.

Fayette County, for example, has a much higher value per millage rate than, say, Meriwether County (and most counties actually) because property is worth more. Fayette County schools are among the best (and highest funded) in the state, with a maximum applied annual millage rate near the state legal limit (19.5 of 20.0nfor the current year). As a result, Fayette has better facilities, smaller class sizes and extra programs (like string orchestras) that many larger systems do not have.

Spalding is the exact opposite. It's a chicken or an egg issue in the simplest sense, but really comes down to the value of taxable property plus how much of that value the local elected officials and residents are willing to tax. Higher property values equal better schools, but higher property values are almost impossible to achieve without somewhat decently funded schools to begin with. This is why it's so important for poor or marginal communities to build tax-producing industrial or commercial bases.
All true. Property taxes are a funny thing. I sometimes find people near me who say things like, "Why would anyone live ______. The taxes are higher than ________." I was pointing out that a comparison of that sort is often apples and oranges.

Fayette is a unique community of mostly highly educated people who value education and are willing to pay the max school Millage rate for the types of opportunities you listed. Then there are places like Clayton where the Millage is maxed, but the housing is valued less due to the schools. Then you have areas like Stone Mountain--Millage rate >50 (school greater than 20) with poor schools. Yikes. I know my particular area in Macon has poor schools, but some have purchased in my historic neighborhood because the value one can get for the money allows them to send their child to private school and not be held hostage to school district lines. The same $150,000 home here would be $225,000 or 250,000 in a good school district and the taxes in the good school area across the county line (lower millage rate) on the extra $100,000 in value would even out in the dollars actually paid. Every locality's situation is different.

Last edited by midgeorgiaman; 06-30-2017 at 12:51 PM..
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Macon, GA
1,186 posts, read 1,649,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
Yes and no.

Fayette County, for example, has a much higher value per millage rate than, say, Meriwether County (and most counties actually) because property is worth more. Fayette County schools are among the best (and highest funded) in the state, with a maximum applied annual millage rate near the state legal limit (19.5 of 20.0nfor the current year). As a result, Fayette has better facilities, smaller class sizes and extra programs (like string orchestras) that many larger systems do not have.

Spalding is the exact opposite. It's a chicken or an egg issue in the simplest sense, but really comes down to the value of taxable property plus how much of that value the local elected officials and residents are willing to tax. Higher property values equal better schools, but higher property values are almost impossible to achieve without somewhat decently funded schools to begin with. This is why it's so important for poor or marginal communities to build tax-producing industrial or commercial bases.
All true. Property taxes are a funny thing. I sometimes find people near me who say things like, "Why would anyone live ______. The taxes are higher than ________." I was pointing out that a comparison of that sort is often apples and oranges.

Fayette is a unique community of mostly highly educated people who value education and are willing to pay the max school millage rate for the types of opportunities you listed. Then there are places like Clayton where the millage is maxed, but the housing is valued less due to the schools. I know my particular area in Macon has poor schools and our school millage is 19.9, but some have purchased in my historic neighborhood because the value one can get for the money allows them to send their child to private school and not be held hostage to school district lines. The same $150,000 home would be $225,000 or $250,000 in a good school district and the taxes in the good school area across the county line would even out (lower millage, but higher value). Every locality's situation is different.
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Old 07-02-2017, 03:48 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,683 posts, read 17,790,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midgeorgiaman View Post
All true. Property taxes are a funny thing. I sometimes find people near me who say things like, "Why would anyone live ______. The taxes are higher than ________." I was pointing out that a comparison of that sort is often apples and oranges.

Fayette is a unique community of mostly highly educated people who value education and are willing to pay the max school Millage rate for the types of opportunities you listed. Then there are places like Clayton where the Millage is maxed, but the housing is valued less due to the schools. Then you have areas like Stone Mountain--Millage rate >50 (school greater than 20) with poor schools. Yikes. I know my particular area in Macon has poor schools, but some have purchased in my historic neighborhood because the value one can get for the money allows them to send their child to private school and not be held hostage to school district lines. The same $150,000 home here would be $225,000 or 250,000 in a good school district and the taxes in the good school area across the county line (lower millage rate) on the extra $100,000 in value would even out in the dollars actually paid. Every locality's situation is different.
Quote:
Originally Posted by midgeorgiaman View Post
All true. Property taxes are a funny thing. I sometimes find people near me who say things like, "Why would anyone live ______. The taxes are higher than ________." I was pointing out that a comparison of that sort is often apples and oranges.

Fayette is a unique community of mostly highly educated people who value education and are willing to pay the max school millage rate for the types of opportunities you listed. Then there are places like Clayton where the millage is maxed, but the housing is valued less due to the schools. I know my particular area in Macon has poor schools and our school millage is 19.9, but some have purchased in my historic neighborhood because the value one can get for the money allows them to send their child to private school and not be held hostage to school district lines. The same $150,000 home would be $225,000 or $250,000 in a good school district and the taxes in the good school area across the county line would even out (lower millage, but higher value). Every locality's situation is different.
Your comment was so good you posited it twice!

But seriously, the difference in school funding from county to county (and city to city) is very eye-opening when you look at it. Most of the Metro Atlanta systems are able to tax at or near the maximum millage allowed because of a general higher education level among households, which as pointed out translates into a higher appreciation for public education in general. There also seems to be a greater understanding in Metro Atlanta of the correlation between well-funded public schools and overall property values. This is something that the Savannah-Chatham BOE successfully convinced the community of about 15 or so years ago, which has led to increased funding for school operations and a long-range faculties plan that will eventually lead to the replacement and modernization of every campus in the system.

Then you've got urban districts like Atlanta, Fulton and DsKalb that have lots of challenges more affluent suburban districts don't face. Indeed, the move toward cityhood in recent years for unincorporated areas of Fulton and Dekalb has been driven by a desire for local control of the tax base. Fortunately (THANK GOD!) the Georgia Constitution specifically forbids the creation of any more school districts, and so the rich (white) parts of Fulton and DeKalb will continue to help fund schools in the poor (black) sections of each county. When you think on it, the fact that Georgia's legislature yeats ago saw the potential problem in school districts being split up along racial and demographic lines is a remarkable thing. To see what a problem this could have been, just look to our West in Alabama where individual cities (or neighborhoods) can vote to break away from larger systems and go "independent" from surrounding cities or counties. This has been devastating to both the Birmingham City and Jefferson County school systems, which are nearly bankrupt because all of the affluent neighborhoods have "broken away" and taken their tax revenue with them.

Another interesting thing is that many wealthy communities (like Fayette mentioned before) have big budgets but don't necessarily pay more than neighbor systems. Teachers in Clayton and Henry counties actually make more money on average than Fayette teachers. And City of Atlanta teachers are the highest paid in the state (aka "hazard pay.")

The Fayette Citizen recently did a big story comparing the annual school budgets of Fayette and Coweta. Coweta has more personnel and more students but a smaller budget. It's really apples and oranges though because folks in Fayette demand higher service from their schools (like air conditioned buses! And performing arts centers at each high school!)

http://thecitizen.com/2017/06/14/com...oweta-schools/

Last edited by Newsboy; 07-02-2017 at 04:14 AM..
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Old 07-02-2017, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Macon, GA
1,186 posts, read 1,649,392 times
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Ha. Don't know how the double post happened. Good breakdown, Newsboy. What I was trying to say but much clearer.
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