Some Forsyth seniors could lose school tax exemption

Forsyth County senior citizens who have school students living with them, yet are not their legal guardians, would no longer be able to claim the senior exemption from school property taxes if voters approve a Nov. 8 referendum.

About 300 senior households fell into this category during the 2014-15 school year, costing the Forsyth schools roughly $500,000 in lost revenues, a district spokeswoman said.

The referendum was put on the ballot last week by the Forsyth Board of Voter Registrations and Elections. It would not affect seniors without children living with them, nor seniors who are the legal guardians of children in their homes, the district says.

Senior exemptions cost Forsyth schools more than $19 million this fiscal year, according to the school district.

Forsyth voters in 2001 approved a 100-percent exemption from school taxes for those at least 65 years old. Since then, the county’s population has risen to 212,500 from 98,407, and school enrollment, to more than 46,000 from 23,659, the district says.