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School board does not raise property tax
by Adam Elrod
aelrod@neighbornewspapers.com
July 31, 2013 08:45 AM | 1171 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Paulding County School Board will not be increasing property taxes to fund its $206 million budget.

At last week’s school board meeting the board passed a millage rate of 18.909, which was the same rate as 2013.

It should bring in about $15 million in property tax revenue, said Chief Financial Officer Steve Barnette.

The budget took effect July 1 with the start of the fiscal year.

In other action taken at the meeting the board voted to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the Paulding County Board of Commissioners for the ticketing of those who are caught on camera passing school buses when stop arms are extended.

The Board of Commissioners voted to enter into the agreement at its meeting last week.

The school district is using American Traffic Solutions to install and maintain the stop arm cameras at no cost to the district.

The company will receive its money through the ticketing process. During the first year of the cameras the company receives 75 percent of the fines, and the county and school district each get 12.5 percent.

The second year the company gets 60 percent and the county and district each receive 20 percent. In the third year the company gets 50 percent of fines, and the county and school district get 25 percent each.

After three years the contract with the company will be up for renewal.

According to information from the district, “[A] camera is mounted on the outside of the school bus and activates when lights begin blinking to signal the pickup/drop off of students.”

Anyone who passes a bus during this time will be caught on camera and the Paulding County Sheriff’s Department will determine if the driver did break the law.

“The owner of the car gets a civil citation in the mail with an opportunity to contest, particularly if the owner was not the driver,” according to district officials.

The penalty for a first offense is $300, second is $750 and more then two in five years is $1,000.

District 3 Board Member Kim Cobb said, “My main concern is the safety of the kids.”

Cobb and Associate Superintendent Brian Otott said the equipment was being installed for safety purposes and not as a revenue generator.

There are about 18,000 students who ride the district’s buses each day, Otott said.

The district has more than 775 bus routes, which travel about 13,443 miles per day. Last year there were about 9,687 stops per day, said Director of Transportation Terre Loveall.

“We hope to have installation shortly after school begins,” Otott said.
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