|County approves 1-cent instead of 2-cent real estate tax hike|
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
The Franklin County School Board adjusted its budget for the 2014-15 school year Monday night to reflect changes in the county's final budget.
In the next fiscal year, the school budget will total $82.1 million. Included in that figure is $846,308 in additional county funds and an estimated $1.2 million in state funds.
Most of the increase in county funds comes from projected revenue growth for the county of which the schools will receive 52 percent, about $600,000, according to county finance Director Vince Copenhaver. Another $246,308 will come from an increase in the real estate tax approved by the county.
The county initially proposed a 2-cent increase in the real estate tax rate; however, supervisors voted to raise the tax only 1-cent after the public hearing on the budget. So the school board had to adjust its budget by $390,000 that it was expecting from the 2-cent tax increase.
The school board's 2014-15 budget reflects an increase of $2.9 million from this year's budget. The increase reflects the additional county funds, additional state funds and $900,000 in funding for the adult education regional program.
Earlier in the budget process, the school board made a list of priorities for the supervisors to allow them to understand the needs of the school division. The schools' list would have required an additional $4.3 million in county funds.
Although that amount of funding was never a realistic option, supervisors have said they now have a better understanding of the school division's priorities and where money is needed in the future.
Some of the items on the school division's list of priorities include an alternative education program, email archiving system, administrators, guidance counselors, social workers, upgraded technology and school bus replacements.