School board Final budget includes a slight tax decrease

By Wesley LeBlanc wesley@opcfla.com
Posted 9/15/21

FLEMING ISLAND – As the school year begins to ramp up, the school board has officially adopted its 2021-22 budget.The board officially passed its budget during a meeting held on Thursday, Sept. …

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School board Final budget includes a slight tax decrease

Posted

FLEMING ISLAND – As the school year begins to ramp up, the school board has officially adopted its 2021-22 budget.
The board officially passed its budget during a meeting held on Thursday, Sept. 9, and it adopted the 2021-22 resolution and all rates with a 5-0 vote. The millage rate approved was lower than last year’s rate of 6.889. But as residents move to the county and new homes are built, property values increased. The lower rate means taxes will decrease by about $11.
“At 6.775, the taxpayer [would] experience a reduction of $11.40,” Asst. Superintendent for Business Affairs Susan Legutko said. “Because property value went up, though, there’s a tax increase. The roll-back rate is 6.6096...which is a difference of .6154.”
The roll-back rate is the rate the millage would need to be rolled back to in order to keep taxes paid by taxpayers exactly the same as the previous year. Because property values went up, keeping the same millage of last year would still result in a tax increase. In order to negate that tax increase, a millage of 6.6096 would need to be adopted. The Clay County school board didn’t drop the millage rate to the rolled-back rate but it did decide on a slightly reduced rate.
The new rate will break down like this: the Required Local Effort millage rate is 3.527 and it will bring in $50,766,730; the Basic Discretionary millage rate is .748 and it will bring in $10,766,519; the Capital Outlay millage rate is 1.5 and it will bring in $21,590,614; and, the Additional Voted Millage, which was the additional one-mill increase voted in by voters, is set at a millage rate of one and it will bring in $14,393,742.
Elsewhere in the budget, Legutko said there was about a $6.4 million change from the tentative budget to the final budget approved last week. The tentative budget was $520,446,656 after all the taxes brought in from millage, but the final budget approved was $526,803,319. The difference comes from small increases to the general fund budget, the special revenue fund budget, the debt service budget and the capital projects budget.
The half-cent sales tax recently voted in by citizens is on track to bring in the expected $14 million, as it was advertised, and so far, the school district has received $7.2 million. The money is being used for the millions needed to fix various maintenance projects like air conditioning in schools, roofs and facility repairs.
“I just want to give a shoutout to Dr. Legutko and her team, who did an excellent job,” Superintendent David Broskie said. “I feel really confident that we’re good stewards of the taxpayers’ funds...and that’s really important.” 

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