City of DeKalb’s share of county property taxes, not including the latest wish list


If you haven’t heard, the DeKalb is setting a property tax “ceiling” during its regular meeting tonight.

This is a legal-beagle advance notification of the highest aggregate amount that DeKalb could possibly ask for when the council sets the levy during its first meeting in December.

What a piece of luck, because recently I’ve been looking at past property tax share portions in DeKalb County. Below you can see tax year 2016, which we just got done paying for in September:

chart of property tax shares in dekalb county

The proportions have remained very stable for the past decade. District 428 mostly ranges within a point either way of its current share, and hasn’t risen above 63%. Kish College has gone as high as 7% and is now on the low end of its usual range. The one exception is City of DeKalb.

In the chart below, what I’ve done is to compare City of DeKalb, its component unit DeKalb Public Library, and DeKalb County. For six years (and maybe more), the property tax shares of City of DeKalb and its library equalled the share of DeKalb County government at 10%, but over the past three years the county has done a better job holding the line on tax increases, while the city has pushed rapid growth in its levies.

Next year, what with the city’s new director of finance talking about a 9.5% share, the city will likely solidify its new status as second-highest consumer of property taxes in the county, even before counting the library.