Board members with the Dade County Board of Education met on Monday at 4 p.m. for the final millage rate hearing for 2020.
A presentation was given which explained ad valorem tax, property taxes and how they are calculated, the millage rate and how it is calculated, and went over the tax digest. The gross tax digest increased by $23.9 million from 2019 to 2020 with an exemption increase of $11.2 million most of which was due to the Homestead Valuation Freeze. The total net increase in the digest was $12.6 million with $6.9 million of the increase due to the reassessment of existing property and $5.7 million of the increase due to new real property since 2019.
Since $6.9 million of the increase is attributed to the reassessment of existing real property, this number is used to help determine the increase for the county and the $6.9 million increase is equal to 0.268 mills. The rollback rate is determined by the state by taking the current millage rate of 15.330 and subtracting the 0.268 mills for a rollback rate of 15.062 mills.
If the board accepted the rollback rate, then they would lose $106,000 during a year when the state has already made austerity cuts in education which means a total loss of $1.3 million for Dade County schools. Not to mention the additional essential personnel needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board proposed to continue with the current millage rate at 15.330 mills and because property value in Dade increased from 2019 to 2020, then the school would be taking in more money than in 2019 at the same millage rate and that is considered a tax increase. The Board of Education had to announce three public hearings for the millage rate and then vote on the millage rate remaining the same in a board meeting. Monday was the last of the three hearings with a board meeting scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. with approval of the proposed millage rate on the Consent Agenda.
Board Members voted unanimously to approve the millage rate to remain at 15.330 mils.
The video of the meeting with the explanation of taxes and millage rates can be found below.