He has a point. I am tired of being taxed in every nook and cranny of my life and would most likely spend my money more wisely if allowed to keep it. Although I don't mind paying taxes for basic societal needs, we are over-taxed in DeKalb and much of it is simply squandered. On top of that, the great state of Georgia has abused DeKalb for over a decade now. First, we all pay taxes to the state of Georgia and then the State, using a complicated funding formula called QBE (explained as well as possible by Joe Martin at the January, 2011 ELPC meeting) calculates what our school system is entitled to from state funds by adding up the numbers of our students, having multiplied each by a different weight proportionate to their individual needs called "FTE"*. Then, in something they call "Austerity Cuts", the state just hacks away at our entitlement total until it becomes a number the state feels comfortable sending to DeKalb. This has cost us hundreds of millions in lost funds over the last decade. It's frustrating and harmful. Have your ever noticed how hard CFO Marcus Turk has tried to alert us to this over the years? He mentions it every time he presents a budget. I've included a couple of his charts below.
|FTE State Funding Summary
(click to view larger)
Worse, add to these "Austerity Cuts" the "Equalization" of school funds by the state, where they take what they call our "Local 5 mill share" and simply give it away to counties around the state that they decide are "poor" and "rural" and need our money more that we. Guess how much they take from us for "Equalization" every year? You are right! 100 Million Dollars! (Insert pinkie upside down at the corner of your mouth when you read that.) $100 Million (or more). Ironically, this is just about exactly the same amount we are now poised to tax ourselves and our guests (for the fourth time) to cover what we need to build and maintain our schools. How long until they start redistributing our SPLOST pennies? I wonder if our poor, rural neighbors appreciate that we are willing to double-tax ourselves so that they can build new schools too.
|Actual funds received
(click to view larger)
===The Cobb County Budget available online includes this chart:
Property Taxes - Taxes levied on real and personal property, based on values assessed as of January 1 each year. FY2012 Property Tax revenue is based on a millage levy currently of 20.0 mills. The following are FY2011 Metro Atlanta comparisons of proposed millage rates, homestead exemptions and taxes on a $165,000 home:
*(For more in-depth but easy to understand information on FTE, click here to download a great Powerpoint called FTE for Dummies written by Paige Cooley of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System.)