School board proposes moderate millage increase to 6.775

New rate is 2.5% higher than last year’s rollback rate

By Wesley LeBlanc wesley@opcfla.com
Posted 7/21/21

FLEMING ISLAND – The school district’s annual budget season has begun and because property value in the county has risen, taxes will rise as well. But don’t expect a massive bump in how much …

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School board proposes moderate millage increase to 6.775

New rate is 2.5% higher than last year’s rollback rate

Posted

FLEMING ISLAND – The school district’s annual budget season has begun and because property value in the county has risen, taxes will rise as well. But don’t expect a massive bump in how much you pay.

It’s July and that means it’s time for the Clay County School Board to begin its budget process which usually begins in the summer and concludes in September. The school board voted 5-0 to approve advertisement for its proposed 2021-22 budget at their July 20 special meeting. If nothing changes, the total millage will be 6.775.

“If property value [would have stayed] the same, every person in Clay County would get an $11.40 tax credit but that’s not what’s happening because property value went up so there’s a tax increase,” Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs Susan Legutko said.

This 6.775 millage rate will raise $97,517,605 for the district. That rate broken down equates to a required local effort of 3.527 mills, which rakes in $50,766,730, a basic discretionary millage of .748, which brings in $10,766,519, a capital outlay millage rate of 1.5, which raises $21,590,614, and an additional one mill voted into effect by Clay County citizens, which will bring in $14,393,742.

“In order for the school district to make the same amount of money as the 6.889 [last year’s rate], the rollback rate would be approximately 6.069,” Legutko said, commenting on how 6.069 is an estimated number. “The 6.775 is 2.5% over the rollback rate. The 6.775 is the millage required to participate in the [Florida Education Finance Program, which yields the school district state funds], therefore the school district is required to advertise the 6.775 millage rate.”

The proposed 2021-22 school year budget looks like this: local revenues including the entirety of the 6.775 millage rate will bring in $97,517,605, state revenues will bring in roughly $238,341,269 and federal revenues will bring in $3,611,759 for total revenue of $305,941,040.

Legutko said the school board will spend those dollars on instructional services, categorical programs, central units such as the Superintendent’s Office and the School Board, district-wide allocations such as property and liability insurance, non-recurring appropriations, general fund capital projects such as constructions management costs, fund balance expenditures and more.

“Our debt is $44,022,137.58, which is pretty good for a district of our size, and it’s going down, which is a good thing,” Legutko said. “I think this is a good budget.”

School board chair Mary Bolla said “thank you” on behalf of the entire board, citing how appreciative the district is for Legutko and her team’s hard work before this tentative budget was approved by the school board.

In other business, Superintendent David Broskie reconfirmed that the school district will not require masks for the 2021-22 school year but will instead recommend and encourage them to be worn. It will be a choice to be made by parents and their children, he said.

“I think it’s good there’s choice in there,” board member Beth Clark said. “We have to hope people make the right decision and the children are obviously key in that. They’re already confused when parents tell them one thing and teachers tell them something else so the word ‘choice’ [is important].”

Board member Janice Kerekes said it’s important to remember decisions aren’t based on the beliefs of the school board. She said the district will continue to follow the recommendations of the health department.

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