APS to Fulton County taxpayers: Please pay taxes early


Atlanta Public Schools officials are asking Fulton County taxpayers for a favor: To pay their tax bills now instead of waiting until the Dec. 31 deadline. 

If enough taxpayers answer the call, employees forced to take two furlough days next week will be paid back for those days sooner than expected. 

The long-delayed Fulton tax bills were mailed last week following a judge’s order to begin collection after the state Department of Revenue rejected the county’s tax digest. The district still has a cash-flow problem as it waits for that money -- which makes up about 62.5 percent of its $777 million budget -- to start coming in. 

To make ends meet until then, the district will furlough about 1,200 non-teaching employees for two days during the Thanksgiving week. It plans to pay those employees for the days off after it has more money in January. 

Superintendent Meria Carstarphen acknowledged during a Monday board meeting that the two unpaid days come during the holidays and when colder weather increases the cost of utilities. And even though the district plans to eventually make their paychecks whole, she said taking two unpaid days off will affect some lower-wage employees. Positions to be furloughed range from the superintendent to custodians and administrative assistants. 

“I know it’s going to hurt people in the holiday season,” she said. “If the community pays early enough…, and we are out of the woods sooner than later, we will make things right sooner rather than later, especially those who felt the furlough’s days, because it is the holiday season and every dollar counts,” Carstarphen said. 

She and Chief Financial Officer Lisa Bracken took time during Monday’s meeting to ask taxpayers to pay taxes as soon as possible or to call their mortgage companies to ask that payments made on their behalf are expedited.

Carstarphen even took to her official blog to ask taxpayers to send payments early.

APS also froze hiring and spending, among other penny-pinching maneuvers.  


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Education

Atlanta mayor announces plan to resolve APS deed dispute
Atlanta mayor announces plan to resolve APS deed dispute

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced she would submit an ordinance Tuesday to the city council to give Atlanta Public Schools deeds to properties the school district has sought for years.  The mayor’s office announced Tuesday that Bottoms had reached an agreement to transfer deeds for 50 properties to APS “without restriction...
Georgia school budgets affected by stagnating population growth
Georgia school budgets affected by stagnating population growth

Schools are still feeling the effects of the Great Recession, which was followed by a dip in childbirths. Georgia bases its education funding for school districts on their enrollment, and it has basically been static, said Ted Beck, chief financial officer for the Georgia Department of Education. It’s up several thousand students this school...
Metro Atlanta districts adjust, cancel afterschool activities because of weather
Metro Atlanta districts adjust, cancel afterschool activities because of weather

Atlanta, Fulton and Marietta schools announced they will cancel extracurricular and after-school activities Tuesday because of anticipated bad weather, while other districts announced modifications to their schedules. Gwinnett County Public Schools will finish Tuesday evening events by 8 p.m. The district said schools and coaches will communicate...
Betsy DeVos: Common Core is dead at U.S. Department of Education
Betsy DeVos: Common Core is dead at U.S. Department of Education

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave a far-ranging speech today in Washington at an American Enterprise Institute conference, “Bush-Obama School Reform: Lessons Learned.” She announced the death of Common Core, at least in her federal agency. DeVos also decried the federal government’s initiatives to improve education...
Erwin voted chairman of DeKalb County Board of Education
Erwin voted chairman of DeKalb County Board of Education

The DeKalb County Board of Education voted board member Michael Erwin its chair at a meeting held Saturday. The board also voted member Marshall Orson as vice chairman.  Erwin said during the meeting, which was rescheduled from Jan. 8 due to weather, that he was grateful for the board’s confidence, after a unanimous vote. “It...
More Stories