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School board to consider tentative tax rate

By Staff | Jul 29, 2010

Members of the Lee County School Board are scheduled to make a decision Thursday on the school district’s tentative property tax rate.
According to a memorandum from Superintendent James Browder to school board members, the overall 2010-2011 tentative budget is $1.395 billion, a decrease from this year’s budget of $1.428 billion. This amount is split into six funds: operating, debt service, capital, special revenue, food service and internal service.
The superintendent will present an overview of the budget and the board will adopt tentative millage rates at 5:05 p.m., in between the board’s briefing and action meetings.
A discussion of strategies to deal with the Class Size Amendment is also scheduled during this meeting.
The key vote this week is deciding whether to vote for the proposed millage rate of 7.480. For homeowners, one mill is the equivalent of $1 of taxes for every $1,000 of assessed property value.
While the proposed overall rate for Lee County is a decrease from 2010 — 7.508 to 7.480 — the Required Local Effort rate, or taxes that must be raised locally, is increasing from 5.260 to a proposed 5.767. The district’s discretionary operating rate is staying the same at 0.748.
The proposed millage rate for capital outlay is 1.250 and, when combined with a critical operating rate of 0.250, is equivalent to the same rate from this year.
A critical operating fund is a new addition to this year’s budget, where the board has the option of levying 0.25 mills to raise funds –approximately $14 million worth –to ease financial pressure within the operating fund without raising taxes.
School in Lee County starts on Aug. 23 and the board has to adopt a final budget on Sept. 14. State statute requires the district to have a balanced budget.
The board is hosting a public hearing on the budget.
For more information, visit www.leeschools.net.