DeKalb homeowner to school board: ‘We have no more money to give.’ Expect many others to agree.

UPDATE at 6 p.m.: Getting word that new property assessments in DeKalb showing big jumps in some areas despite collapse of housing market. A neighbor saw a $300,000 jump — $400,000 to $700,00 — and has not added onto her house. Is there a glitch in the assessments? Anybody else seeing that sort of rise in their house’s value?

A DeKalb homeowner sent this strong letter in response to the DeKalb school board’s proposal to raise taxes. I thought I would share it here.

I expect the school board members will be getting a lot of similarly unhappy responses to their plan to dig the system out of its financial hole by a tax increase, teacher furloughs, a shortened school year and larger class sizes. Here is the letter:

Here we go again. DeKalb County, this time the school system, is in trouble and we property owners and taxpayers are asked to put in even more money. Our family loves the public education system, we are both government employees, too, but the taxes in this county have gotten way out of hand. We have voted in favor of the additional sales tax each time to help the schools and voted yes to virtually every request by the school board. But please, no more increasing property taxes!

Over the last few years, the county has eliminated the school property taxes for much of our elderly population under the idea they have “already paid their share,” as though suddenly they have no interest in an educated population. This current elderly generation is better off than any that has ever gone before and will almost certainly be better off than the ones to come! In the past 10 years, our personal property taxes have already gone up 71 percent without any change in the structure of our home.

Call it what you will, the county just increased property taxes significantly last year, and refuses to decrease property values, and now the county CEO and the school board both want to increase taxes, too. Please stop.

Please don’t do this. Is this one reason folks start moving to other counties? In the long run, these increases are just hurting the county as it shows no ability to tighten its belt as any good family would rather than just taking more out of every person’s bank accounts.

All these raises have happened while property values were dropping precipitously the last few years. For us personally, one of our salaries is frozen, and the other, the teacher, keeps getting no “changes in the contract amount,” but without increases and at the same time, increasing the length of the school day and not paying for various workdays when the teachers have to work any way.

While one might say, well this is not the school board’s  doing, it is indeed its concern. School board members must look at the overall picture of what your population is facing. The board and others have chosen or approved poor superintendents who were being chased away by their former systems and then paid them extravagant salaries renewing contracts just before termination; allowed corruption and stealing of taxpayer money; continued to manage an overly extended central office; and funded programs that should never have been funded.

The state Legislature needs to stop the continuing yearly whittling away at public education in favor of private and the public school boards need to be vocal in leading the charge against this. After the taxes go in place for a temporary problem they never go away. We will be saddled with these extra taxes from hence forward. When times grow flush, we will just see more money being spent and no emergency funds.

When will all this stop and the school board stand up and make the hard decisions that are needed rather than always caving in to special to loud groups and raising taxes? We have no more money to give.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

175 comments Add your comment

say what?

May 30th, 2012
5:38 pm

Hey, how about this homeowner also demand that his gold dome representatives get to moving on rescinding equalization funds being collected from fulton, clayton, cobb, and Dekalb taxpayers then diverted to their counterpart, Gwinnett County? If this farce was stopped, Gwinnett would no longer be the Best school system as it would have to fund its own programs. Why is Gwinnett not hit as hard as other metro counties in the face of so many state cuts? Guess if Dekalb, cobb, fulton, or clayton were eligible like Gwinnett they would have more reserves.
Get rid of FSC, all magnet, theme, high achievers, Montesori and Pre-K programs in DCSD. That way all special interest groups can be special in their home schools- North, South, and Central DeKalb.

Just a Mom

May 30th, 2012
5:39 pm

AMEN!! Just opened my property assessment for my house in North Dekalb – up another $88k, associated taxes $800. There is no way we could come close to getting what they say it is appraised at. So I’m suppose to fork over more money for my kids to sit in classrooms of 34 while the boutique schools and special interests thrive? This well is about dry. At least I can advertise my house as close to several private schools – that is probably the only way someone would buy it!

Maureen Downey

May 30th, 2012
5:46 pm

@Just, I am getting emails on my neighborhood listserv on this issue. My next door neighbor says her assessment went up nearly $300,000 in one year. Another neighbor saw a $25,000 climb.
Several other folks in my Decatur neighborhood are reporting now that their assessments delivered today also went up, but not nearly that much. I am wondering if there is something wrong with these assessment notices. (My neighbor plans on calling the tax office tomorrow as she did not add anything to her house to justify a $300,000 leap in value. )
I will get the link for the AJC series on how problematic assessments are and how they are riddled with disparities. I think that some folks may need to read that entire AJC investigation again.

yes i am worried

May 30th, 2012
5:50 pm

The problem is the majority of the board lives in S. DeKalb and so their apprasials have most likely dropped. Rumor is that 65 percent of property tax revenue now comes from N. DeKalb.

My N. DeKalb home’s appraised value actually dropped about 5 percent. It isn’t where it is suppose to be — but getting closer.


May 30th, 2012
5:53 pm

I am wondering who in their right mind would want to buy Dekalb county property with taxes so high? The school board is shooting itself in the foot by continuing to raise taxes.

And about that equalization money “poor” Gwinnett gets? My “rich” (76% free lunch) county also contributes to it–for the most part because of the greed of developers and banks (most out of business, and NO ONE in jail) that gave sketchy loans to bank insiders that inflated the “worth” of our land here. Add to that, the national forest and the high elderly population, and we are bleeding!

I’d love to see the Dekalb taxpayers lead the revolution! Pitchforks, everyone!

Dunwoody Mom

May 30th, 2012
5:57 pm

Received our assessment today – it was the same as last year, but my husband is still fighting last year’s assessment (yes, a year later), so are we going to have to fight 2 years of assessments?

Just a Mom

May 30th, 2012
6:01 pm

@yes I am Worried, would you mind sharing your zip code? Maybe we can pick up on trends. Mine is 30345 – from my neighbors, it appears we have been hit hard.

Don't Tread

May 30th, 2012
6:06 pm

I wouldn’t live in Dekalb if they paid me to do it. Cronyism and corruption at its finest. Ditto for Fulton and Clayton. There’s some seriously screwed up people running these counties.

Dunwoody Mom

May 30th, 2012
6:08 pm

yes i am worried

May 30th, 2012
6:12 pm

just a mom, 30338. Several of my neighbors appealed and won last year — thus, I think the lower appraisal. My drop was actually 3 percent and is still probably 20 percent to high.

Clarkston Calling

May 30th, 2012
6:14 pm

I live in 30021. My tax assessment has been dropping like a rock. I admit though I moved here because it was cheap.

Old timer

May 30th, 2012
6:25 pm

And keep in mind, many of us retired folks have taken a huge hit on our retirement savings and home values. I live in Cobb. Many of us are not the wealthy generation of retired people… after in law was….but not the next generation.

bootney farnsworth

May 30th, 2012
6:31 pm

anyone still willingly living in DeKalb is a fool.

the county has no will or desire to be fiscally responsible, and you are well on your
way to an implosion.

north DeKalb ought to see if they can join up with N. Fulton and recreate Milton co.


May 30th, 2012
6:32 pm

Why is it that such an important meeting is NOT on PDS24 online? Comcast 24 is playing the meeting from May 14th? I knew I could not make the meeting but planed on watching it.

Bill Carpenter

May 30th, 2012
6:32 pm

What happened to the property value assessment freeze? Didn’t it pass last year to be permanent unless the property is sold? This action by the County to impose values is clearly to punish the incorporated cities and make up for the budget shortfalls they anticipate.

bootney farnsworth

May 30th, 2012
6:33 pm

@ Maureen

I would suspect a $300,000 is a massive gaff. If they get a fair hearing, that should plummet like a stone.

Regardless, the issue is a county which refuses to even consider fiscal responsibility.

Homeschoolers in Dekalb

May 30th, 2012
6:34 pm

Our value went up by $160K this year. We are in 30345. To me this is just Burl Ellis’ way of increasing taxes to cover his failed bond rating. If you can’t borrow money and you can’t get voters to agree to a tax hike, why not artificially inflate home values and hope nobody notices. Right?

FCS Teacher

May 30th, 2012
6:34 pm


I live in DeKalb and just saw my assessment go up $36,500. There has to be a problem.


May 30th, 2012
6:35 pm

I should have said ‘planned on watching it.’ I don’t want to get in trouble with the spelling police ;-)


May 30th, 2012
6:39 pm

I live in Dekalb (30033) and got my assessment today, and it went down even though we finished the basement last year.

Just a Mom

May 30th, 2012
6:41 pm

if people don’t mind giving their zip code when they post, we might see trends. @FCS Teacher, where are you?

bootney farnsworth

May 30th, 2012
6:44 pm

@ alm,

if you were DeKalb, would you air that meeting?


May 30th, 2012
6:45 pm

A very simple solution to out of control property tax assessments can be had, but will never happen because it might actually work. That is, if I think my property tax assessment is too high, I go through the current process of appealing my assessment. If the county refuses to lower the assessment, then give the property owner the option of having the county buy his property at the assessed value.

It wouldn’t take but a handful of these transactions for the county to back off the assessed value to about 10% below market – which is where it really should be.

bootney farnsworth

May 30th, 2012
6:46 pm

remember DeKalbites,

you have the ultimate power to put these clowns on the street.
if you can muster the will to do it.

FCS Teacher

May 30th, 2012
6:49 pm

@Just a Mom


bootney farnsworth

May 30th, 2012
6:49 pm

how about this:

take the DCSS property on N. DeKalb and turn it into a Harrah’s casino
you can use the money it generates to prop up the county – until they figure
out how to spend up to & over the income.

but it might buy you a couple years.


May 30th, 2012
7:02 pm

Dekalb, like most government entitties, doesn’t have a funding problem, it has a SPENDING problem. I’ve done the legwork for you, copy the below table and paste it to a spreadsheet. Lot of interesting tidbits. For example, 6 clerks making over $70k, half the Fin/bus folks making over $90k, some teacher salaries topping out at $90k with the highest teacher salary at $102k. $80 and $90k for a KINDERGARTEN TEACHER??? Give me a break.

Title Count MIN MAX AVG Total
ADAPTED PHYS ED TEACHER 9 $10,522 $74,441 $54,279 $488,511
AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM WORKER 23 $338 $20,820 $8,939 $205,591
ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL 276 $5,542 $113,697 $76,914 $21,228,320
ATHLETICS DIRECTOR 1 $114,488 $114,488 $114,488 $114,488
ATHLETICS PERSONNEL 3 $51,095 $98,885 $80,626 $241,878
AUDIOLOGIST 3 $77,264 $82,831 $79,473 $238,418
AUDITOR 6 $814 $87,519 $50,085 $300,512
BOOKKEEPER 50 $13,574 $44,822 $34,015 $1,700,756
BUS DRIVER 939 $15 $45,777 $25,611 $24,048,407
BUSINESS SERV SECRETARY/CLERK 10 $30,797 $73,960 $55,024 $550,242
CENTRAL SUPPORT CLERK 51 $- $73,960 $37,768 $1,926,176
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER 4 $13,552 $109,011 $78,900 $315,601
CUSTODIAL PERSONNEL 736 $240 $41,908 $25,936 $19,088,674
DATA CLERK 1 $3,884 $3,884 $3,884 $3,884
DEPUTY/ASSOC/ASSISTANT SUPT 14 $10,062 $164,385 $105,744 $1,480,415
DIAGNOSTICIAN 7 $11,490 $68,569 $53,080 $371,559
DIRECTOR OF CHILD SERVE 2 $39,131 $106,167 $72,649 $145,297
DIRECTOR OF CURRICULUM/INSTR 3 $106,179 $114,488 $111,718 $335,154
DIRECTOR OF GLRS 1 $75,709 $75,709 $75,709 $75,709
DIRECTOR OF MEDIA SERVICES 1 $101,317 $101,317 $101,317 $101,317
DIRECTOR OF PSYCHO-ED PROG 1 $111,759 $111,759 $111,759 $111,759
DIRECTOR OF SCHOOL SAFETY 3 $81,143 $98,885 $89,189 $267,567
DIRECTOR OF STUDENT SERVICES 6 $98,237 $114,488 $107,693 $646,160
EARLY INTERVENTION PRIMARY TEACHER 53 $11,490 $83,558 $58,085 $3,078,513
EARLY INTERVENTION TEACHER 4 $31,186 $68,936 $56,988 $227,952
EIP 4TH AND 5TH GRADE TEACHER 53 $4,601 $88,496 $57,735 $3,059,970
ELEMENTARY COUNSELOR 108 $12,566 $93,212 $66,128 $7,141,861
ENTERPRISE TECHNICIAN 1 $91,898 $91,898 $91,898 $91,898
ESOL TEACHER 194 $3,147 $89,353 $53,027 $10,287,158
EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES 78 $68 $11,877 $2,288 $178,474
FAMILY SERVICES COORDINATOR 16 $4,524 $109,011 $33,848 $541,567
FINANCE/BUSINESS PERSONNEL 19 $11,581 $114,488 $75,390 $1,432,416
FINANCE/BUSINESS SERVICE MGR 2 $40,767 $164,385 $102,576 $205,152
FOOD SERVICE ADMINISTRATOR 8 $52,728 $111,738 $74,877 $599,015
GENERAL ADMIN SECRETARY/CLERK 42 $8,370 $66,077 $42,933 $1,803,186
GIFTED 14 $9,338 $72,716 $52,374 $733,230
GIFTED ELEMENTARY TEACHER P-5 68 $6,506 $81,871 $57,875 $3,935,517
GIFTED HIGH 3 $60,639 $68,766 $65,918 $197,753
GRADE 1 TEACHER 377 $80 $83,852 $49,772 $18,763,940
GRADE 2 TEACHER 372 $5,258 $82,991 $50,171 $18,663,654
GRADE 3 TEACHER 375 $6,938 $96,377 $51,367 $19,262,756
GRADE 4 TEACHER 336 $237 $102,714 $51,968 $17,461,251
GRADE 5 TEACHER 296 $6,938 $99,438 $53,271 $15,768,309
GRADE 6 TEACHER 28 $11,490 $81,521 $55,096 $1,542,686
GRADE 7 TEACHER 18 $10,168 $75,781 $53,336 $960,040
GRADES 6-8 TEACHER 887 $75 $91,396 $48,063 $42,631,713
GRADES 9-12 TEACHER 1420 $8 $92,812 $47,518 $67,476,000
GRADES K-5 TEACHER 179 $5,970 $80,510 $43,844 $7,848,119
GRADUATION SPECIALIST 42 $8,044 $88,545 $53,574 $2,250,096
HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR 99 $7,002 $103,376 $66,173 $6,551,148
HOSPITAL/HOMEBOUND INSTRUCTOR 1 $81,691 $81,691 $81,691 $81,691
HUMAN RESOURCES PERSONNEL 34 $397 $114,488 $58,563 $1,991,157
INFORMATION SERV PERSONNEL 20 $3,539 $114,488 $82,052 $1,641,031
INFORMATION SERVICES CLERK 49 $3,243 $49,617 $35,385 $1,733,859
INSTRUCTIONAL SPECIALIST 114 $6,232 $103,815 $70,809 $8,072,171
INSTRUCTIONAL SPECIALIST P-8 446 $3,012 $84,343 $51,910 $23,152,015
INSTRUCTIONAL SUPERVISOR 57 $2,544 $115,448 $81,738 $4,659,085
INTERPRETER 23 $5,873 $85,882 $46,240 $1,063,512
IS PERSONNEL – FINANCE AND BUSINESS 36 $31,496 $103,818 $52,344 $1,884,386
IS PERSONNEL – FOOD SERVICE 3 $49,213 $67,775 $56,624 $169,871
IS PERSONNEL – GENERAL ADMIN 6 $- $88,792 $48,871 $293,223
IS PERSONNEL – INSTRUCTION SERV 21 $5,061 $111,726 $70,159 $1,473,347
IS PERSONNEL – MAINTENANCE 9 $27,960 $98,885 $70,704 $636,334
IS PERSONNEL – OTHER SUPPORT 1 $61,189 $61,189 $61,189 $61,189
IS PERSONNEL – SUPPORT SERV 54 $1,553 $103,818 $61,038 $3,296,062
IS PERSONNEL – TRANSPORTATION 3 $73,243 $94,152 $82,261 $246,784
KINDERGARTEN TEACHER 376 $1,696 $90,533 $51,867 $19,502,078
LEGAL PERSONNEL 1 $111,617 $111,617 $111,617 $111,617
LIBRARIAN/MEDIA SPECIALIST 156 $7,490 $81,691 $56,358 $8,791,780
LIBRARY/MEDIA SECRETARY/CLERK 57 $776 $54,705 $19,401 $1,105,884
LITERACY COACH 10 $14,142 $76,291 $51,159 $511,587
LOTTERY PRE-SCHOOL TEACHER 115 $657 $66,778 $42,709 $4,911,506
MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL 251 $91 $67,312 $42,369 $10,634,678
MEMBER, BOARD OF EDUCATION 11 $10,530 $23,400 $17,656 $194,220
MIDDLE SCHOOL COUNSELOR 58 $7,002 $97,779 $67,036 $3,888,104
MIDDLE SCHOOL EXPLOR TEACHER 46 $5,464 $89,235 $56,850 $2,615,109
MILITARY SCIENCE TEACHER 44 $268 $86,855 $66,479 $2,925,080
MISCELLANEOUS ACTIVITIES 37 $488 $103,245 $34,794 $1,287,373
NURSING ASSISTANT / HEALTH TECH 36 $12,199 $46,567 $29,110 $1,047,950
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST 28 $50,964 $89,860 $67,245 $1,882,851
OTHER INSTRUCTIONAL PROVIDER 39 $2,059 $97,622 $66,299 $2,585,649
OTHER TRANSPORTATION 212 $231 $69,799 $14,414 $3,055,809
PARAPRO PERSONNEL – PRE-K 109 $3,179 $41,488 $26,101 $2,845,049
PARAPROFESSIONAL/TEACHER AIDE 365 $153 $64,101 $25,620 $9,351,339
PARENT COORDINATOR 59 $2,055 $87,802 $51,678 $3,048,988
PERSONNEL/HUMAN RESOURCES DIR 1 $164,385 $164,385 $164,385 $164,385
PHYSICAL THERAPIST 8 $26,132 $93,817 $80,012 $640,096
PLANNING/EVALUATION PERSONNEL 5 $87,519 $107,467 $96,076 $480,381
PLANT OPERATIONS DIRECTOR/MGR 24 $9,376 $113,355 $60,652 $1,455,657
PLANT OPERATIONS SEC/CLERK 14 $4,653 $46,092 $38,889 $544,441
PRESCHOOL SPECIAL ED TEACHER 85 $210 $81,691 $41,519 $3,529,109
PRINCIPAL 154 $- $123,762 $95,985 $14,781,631
PSYCH-ED PARAPRO/TEACHER AIDE 36 $2,658 $32,688 $19,743 $710,759
PSYCHO-ED SCHOOL SEC/CLERK 3 $35,816 $41,659 $39,711 $119,134
PSYCHO-ED SOCIAL WORKER 1 $62,071 $62,071 $62,071 $62,071
PSYCHO-ED SPEC ED SPECIALIST 5 $70,588 $98,885 $83,807 $419,033
PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL TEACHER 35 $5,970 $67,643 $38,922 $1,362,283
PUBLIC RELATIONS PERSONNEL 9 $1,540 $76,876 $14,071 $126,638
RECREATIONAL THERAPIST 7 $46,082 $68,766 $56,485 $395,392
RESEARCH PERSONNEL 5 $377 $106,179 $59,207 $296,035
RVI TEACHER 9 $11,398 $82,190 $61,823 $556,410
SCHOOL FOOD SERVICE MANAGER 88 $5,920 $59,298 $41,931 $3,689,962
SCHOOL FOOD SERVICE WORKER 911 $63 $61,984 $15,710 $14,311,364
SCHOOL NURSE 54 $3,129 $75,383 $27,474 $1,483,613
SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST 49 $9,338 $100,879 $66,847 $3,275,500
SCHOOL SECRETARY/CLERK 243 $2,253 $44,011 $28,634 $6,957,976
SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKER 42 $7,226 $87,516 $58,245 $2,446,309
SECRETARY 195 $80 $54,909 $31,066 $6,057,794
SECURITY PERSONNEL/SECURITY OFFICER 204 $412 $95,037 $44,301 $9,037,407
SPECIAL ED PARAPRO/AIDE 798 $137 $42,685 $23,410 $18,681,028
SPECIAL EDUCATION DIRECTOR 6 $6,137 $114,488 $90,188 $541,126
SPECIAL EDUCATION INTERRELATED 808 $35 $91,877 $44,710 $36,125,665
SPECIAL EDUCATION NURSE 26 $6,638 $70,086 $46,936 $1,220,343
SPECIAL EDUCATION PARAPROFESSIONAL – AGES 3 TO 5 44 $3,375 $42,452 $25,946 $1,141,620
SPECIAL EDUCATION SECRETARY/CLERK 25 $3,277 $45,125 $33,290 $832,257
SPECIAL EDUCATION SPECIALIST 117 $1,346 $106,362 $64,757 $7,576,589
SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST 84 $6,106 $83,451 $50,905 $4,276,051
STAFF DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST 22 $2,225 $107,981 $66,096 $1,454,116
SUBSTITUTE TEACHER 1246 $40 $48,592 $6,289 $7,835,807
SUPERINTENDENT 1 $217,010 $217,010 $217,010 $217,010
SUPERINTENDENT SECRETARY 1 $70,397 $70,397 $70,397 $70,397
SUPPORT SERV SECRETARY/CLERK 33 $3,941 $50,328 $27,189 $897,242
TEACHER OF AUTISTIC STUDENTS 1 $11,916 $11,916 $11,916 $11,916
TEACHER OF EMOTIONAL/BEHAVIORAL 20 $9,910 $76,850 $56,681 $1,133,625
TEACHER OF HEARING IMPAIRED STUDENT 20 $566 $75,655 $48,983 $979,661
TEACHER OF MILD INTELLECTUAL 14 $35,778 $73,919 $45,443 $636,207
TEACHER OF MODERATE INTELLECTUAL 112 $513 $83,529 $51,901 $5,812,864
TEACHER OF ORTHOPEDIC IMPAIRED 11 $7,354 $73,136 $43,728 $481,006
TEACHER OF OTHER HEALTH IMPAIRED 14 $9,048 $65,663 $45,609 $638,533
TEACHER OF SEVERE INTELLECTUAL 60 $119 $82,298 $45,907 $2,754,393
TEACHER OF SPECIFIC LEARNING 11 $45,160 $72,747 $60,117 $661,285
TEACHER OF VISUALLY IMPAIRED 14 $11,490 $80,171 $49,669 $695,372
TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR 1 $119,043 $119,043 $119,043 $119,043
TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST 105 $5,356 $50,604 $40,337 $4,235,417
TITLE I DIRECTOR 1 $89,679 $89,679 $89,679 $89,679
TRANSPORTATION DIRECTOR/MGR 16 $12,179 $116,208 $69,275 $1,108,408
TRANSPORTATION MECHANIC 37 $26,950 $62,065 $53,007 $1,961,261
TRANSPORTATION SEC/CLERK 15 $126 $50,567 $33,266 $498,988
VOCATIONAL 209 $- $92,768 $53,904 $11,265,870
VOCATIONAL DIRECTOR 4 $83,412 $101,317 $93,463 $373,854
WAREHOUSEMAN 13 $26,821 $77,465 $47,191 $613,480
YOUTH APPRENTICESHIP DIRECTOR 1 $98,237 $98,237 $98,237 $98,237
Grand Total 16206 $- $217,010 $39,823 $645,373,862


May 30th, 2012
7:02 pm

I’m with Clarkston–my condo is valued at around 25% of what I bought it for– and I got the notice today saying it’s down another $5400 since last year!


May 30th, 2012
7:04 pm

Can someone stop whinning. We all know the economy sucks right now, but I believe my children are my first priority. I have three children, ages 6. 8, and 13 and I am willing to pay more taxes. Why? Becasue I believe our teachers are the ones suffering. You know those very men and women who are with our cildren more hours in a day than we. They have had furloughs, more students placed in classrooms, job security frightened and now this new Common Core which they all must learn to help better our children, And, no I am not wealthy. I am a single parent that struggles every day and lives in Stone Mountain, so get off your high horses and stop comparing the best public schools in the world to provate schools. If you like private institutions so much, enroll your children and pay the enormous tuition. Remember, our public schools take all children regardless of their background, special needs,and financial status, so don’t compare us to other countries either. They choose who goes to school and throw out anyone that does not live up to specific standards. When is education in the USA going to be a priority again and not the almight dollar?


May 30th, 2012
7:07 pm

We’re in Tucker. We got our notice of assessment today. Our FMV dropped about 18%, on top of about a 25% drop last year. I actually think they’ve gone too low on FMV based on what I’ve seen in my neighborhood.


May 30th, 2012
7:14 pm

say what?
May 30th, 2012
5:38 pm

Please explain to me why the state sends over $800,000 to Dekalb for CTAE extended day salaries while it sends only $225,000 (approx) to Gwinnett? Seems to me your claim doesn’t hold much water.


May 30th, 2012
7:15 pm

And FWIW, my taxes will come to about $32 a week. $32 a week = garbage twice a week, yard waste once a week, police protection and fire protection, plus public schools. I guess I’m in the minority, because that doesn’t bother me at all, and a 2 mill increase in my school taxes will mean approx. another $1.50 a week. I wish DCSS would chop about 1/2 of their bloated administration, but I’m not going to claim the sky is falling over $1.50 a week.

mountain man

May 30th, 2012
7:15 pm

Excuse me, but where did the revenue go? Has property tax revenues gone down? Why? Are home asssessments down? If so, an increase in the millage rate is no increase at all (probably a net decrease). Or is it that taxes are not paid? Does the county need to lien properties and garnish wages? Are the banks paying the taxes on all those houses they foreclosed on?

Or is the issue the cuts in the State money that the county used to get? Have we cut state education funds?

mountain man

May 30th, 2012
7:20 pm

Maureen – you are not telling us everything. For a person whose assessment went up $300,000, yess, that is unbelievable. But she may not have told you that her house has not been assessed since 1970 and was valued at $50,000, even though she has a nice house in Desirable Decatur. The real question is: what is her final assessment now and would she sell her house for that?

mountain man

May 30th, 2012
7:22 pm

So, Blahblahblah, your taxes have decreased about 43% over the last two years. Are you one of those “no tax increase under any circumstances” people who are fighting the 2 mil increase?

mountain man

May 30th, 2012
7:28 pm

Maureen – or you might not be telling us that your friend owns a $3,000,000 mansion and it went up $300,000 – a 10% increase


May 30th, 2012
7:30 pm

“you have the ultimate power to put these clowns on the street.”

Too bad this blog doesn’t have an ignore feature so we could ignore clowns like you Barney.


May 30th, 2012
7:30 pm

The legislature needs to take notice. After over a decade of education cuts, there is a now a statement on the Gwinnett County Schools website stating “We now can no longer do more with less.” This from as red a county as there is in this state. But now the citizens are starting to notice what the yearly budget cuts are doing to their kids’ schools. They are not happy.

Infuriated Tax Payer

May 30th, 2012
7:36 pm

I’ve got my pitchfork but will only march on Decatur if we proceed to the Gold Dome afterward! Enough of these ‘damn’ increases(three !’s)

bootney farnsworth

May 30th, 2012
7:40 pm

midway, do you double as Don H?

your attempts at insults have the same lack of imagination, thought , and zing.
there was a book that was very popular in the early 70s -1001 Insults For All Occasions
maybe you could find it one ebay and improve your selection.

Good hunting!


May 30th, 2012
7:42 pm

“Are you one of those “no tax increase under any circumstances” people who are fighting the 2 mil increase?”

mountain man, my property values have also decreased by about that much, I sure can handle the increased mileage rate. However, they are putting the burden on places that have not seen huge decreases in property values, it is not right. DCSS had no problem spending the extra money when property values skyrocketed because of the housing bubble. DCSS needs to get their spending under control because next year they won’t be able to raise the mileage rate because they are at the maximum. The county is refusing to cut enough, there are plenty of cuts that could still be made.

The burden the system is putting on the north and central parts of the county is not good for the county as a whole.


May 30th, 2012
7:42 pm

This is not happening only to the “wealthier” parts of Dekalb. Just received an assessment on an investment property in South Dekalb that has literelly trippled in value in just one year! And I thought I had moved to the most corrupt state when I left GA for IL last year.

bootney farnsworth

May 30th, 2012
7:43 pm

@ finally2

while I appreciate your concern for our well being…
instead of demanding tax increases, you might consider demanding your county officials
spend what they get more wisely.

otherwise soon you may be the only person left in DeKalb to tax.

bootney farnsworth

May 30th, 2012
7:45 pm

@ koko

actually Louisiana is the most corrupt state. we come in around six, I think.
but you did land in a place willing to give Cook county a run for its money

welcome south


May 30th, 2012
7:45 pm

mountain man
May 30th, 2012
7:15 pm

Yes state education funding has dropped every year for the past 11 years. They have been called by various names (”Austerity Cuts” being my favorite, right behind “Temporary Cuts”).
So if a red county such as Gwinnett is being hit this hard, how hard do you think the blue counties are being hit?
The legislature has been DEFUNDING the education system for over a decade..
The figures for Gwinnett County losses do not lie.
Fiscal Year Funding Lost
2003 $10.7 million
2004 $22.9 million
2005 $27.6 million
2006 $27.0 million
2007 $15.5 million
2008 $13.4 million
2009 $47.4 million
2010 $132.7 million
2011 $107.9 million
2012 $113.6 million
2013 $113.3 million

I rest my case.

Forsyth Co. resident and loving it

May 30th, 2012
7:49 pm

Finally2, no one has even acknowledged your comment yet because it is so ridiculous. It is everyone’s right and some would say their duty to hold our elected leaders accountable. It doesn’t mean they don’t care about education or that they are whiners. I don’t know where you got the idea that we have the best public schools in the world, but many people would beg to differ. Also, giving more money to an inept and poorly run school system has almost nothing to do with the quality of education the students will receive. I know that Dekalb County has made many, many poor decisions over a period of many years that have led to the situation they are in now. I don’t know what they can do at this point to turn it around, but I agree with those who say they wouldn’t live there for anything. I feel sympathy for all you Dekalb Co. residents out there!


May 30th, 2012
7:56 pm

Last year’s FMV assessment was $220,000, this year’s is $441,000! We live in 30345.


May 30th, 2012
7:58 pm

So I’m not resting my case just yet.

In the past 11 years Gwinnett alone has lost $631 million, statewide you are looking at over $4 billion cut from Georgia’s education funding. This started BEFORE the recession, and people wonder why we rank so low nationally? You get what you pay for.

Gotta get those peanut trucks enough diesel fuel, I know, lets just close all the schools in the state for a few days. Thanks Sonny.

Maureen Downey

May 30th, 2012
8:03 pm

@Mountain, Three bedroom house, no basement. No pool. Jumped from $400,000 to $700,000. Definitely no mansion. And not an old house. Built around same time as mine, which was about 1990. I am assuming that it must be a mistake as it is a a 71.2% jump.


May 30th, 2012
8:04 pm

Forsyth Co. resident and loving it
May 30th, 2012
7:49 pm

I acknowledge finally2’s post and support most of what is said in it.