School system waiting on impact of Title Ad Valorem Tax
by Mark Andrews
Mar 19, 2014 | 778 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The full impact of Title Ad Valorem Tax remains to be seen, according to Bartow County School System. During Bartow County Board of Education’s work session, the board heard from Finance Director Megan Brown, who reported on recent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax Collections and TAVT along with finance committee member Anna Sullivan.

“SPLOST receipts have remained flat over the last couple of months. They have decreased though when compared to previous years’ collections,” Brown said. “February receipts decreased 4.28 percent from February 2013 and it was a total of 32 1/2 percent from February 2012 when compared to last month.

“The 2013 average collection was $1.2 million with a [Title Ad Valorem Tax] distribution population portion averaging right at $80,000 [with] these two totaling an average of $1.3 million in monthly collections. By reviewing the commodity reports provided by the Department of Revenue, we’ve seen the most significant drop in revenue in automobiles and utilities. Although the Title Ad Valorem Tax was set up to help sustain some of the decreasing collections that we’ve received, we have not seen a lot of that difference made up in the monthly collections with the TAVT tax.”

Sullivan weighed in on state school funding.

“With much of the ... increases of funding to schools during this political year, it appears that much of these funds more closely resemble the shifting of existing monies with few new resources available,” Sullivan said. “... It is expected that we will continue to face challenges as we anticipate future budget news, particularly as it is related to TAVT collections, because that is unknown.”

Brown also reported on the county’s process regarding informing employees on the upcoming changes with the Georgia Department of Community Health’s State Health Benefit Plan.

“We have sent out email communication with our employees to let them know a detailed breakdown of what those changes were. Our benefits department has talked to the employees, we have had some people come in and ask for explanations,” Brown said. “Everyone is receiving new benefit cards and those do have some explanations on what the differences are ...”

Superintendent John Harper during the meeting recognized school bus driver Brandi Holcomb, who on Friday, March 14, alerted a family of a spark emitting from their home while picking up children along her route.

“... Our bus drivers work very hard for the school system for five hours a day at minimum wage and they do an outstanding job; a lot of the wonderful things they do for our children you never hear about,” Harper said.