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Friday, July 30, 2010

Jackson County School Board Tentatively Adopts $94.8 Million budget for 2010-2011 Millage rate up just a tad

Jackson County School Board members breezed past their first public hearing Tuesday evening on a proposed $94.8 million budget for fiscal year 2010-2011. Since there was no public comment, or any comment at all, the meeting was over in 10 minutes. The four board members present, Charlotte Gardner, Betty Duffee, Kenneth Griffin and Terry Nichols (Chris Johnson was absent) appeared relieved that there would be no significant millage rate increase this year, although the rate is up just a tiny bit.

The final public hearing on the budget and millage rate will be held in mid-September, financial officer Terry St. Cyr said.

“The millage rate to be adopted is less than the rollback rate (what it would take to generate the same funds as last year),” St. Cyr said, “so we were not legally required to advertise for a tax increase.”

The rollback millage would be 6.487 but the millage tentatively adopted Tuesday is 6.461. That 6.461 rate will generate a local effort of $9.8 million, St. Cyr said. Actually, some $8.3 million is generated by the “required local effort,” about $1.1 million is collected by “basic discretionary” and $382,859 is to be collected in “critical needs-operating,” according to budget documents. Further, the proposed required local effort is 5.463, the basic discretionary-operating millage is .748 and the proposed discretionary critical needs-operating, a continuation according to Gardner, is .250.

The new millage rate tentatively adopted Tuesday is 6.461. Last year, it was 6.327.

Looking at the proposed budget summary, the total “revenues, transfers and balances” for fiscal year 2010-2011 are $94,807,890. The total “expenditures, transfers and balances” are the same.

Included in “estimated revenues” are $11.5 million in federal sources, $39.2 million in state sources and $14 million in local sources. That totals in “total revenue” to $64.9 million. Add to that $1.8 million in “transfers in” and $28 million in “fund balance-July 1, 2010,” and the $94.8 million figure is reached.

Proposed expenditures include $36.5 million for instructional costs, (the lion’s share by far) $7 million in facilities acquisitions and construction, $4.1 million in pupil transportation services and $6.3 million for “operation of plant.” To those and other categories add $1.6 million in debt service and a “fund balance” of $16.8 million and the $94.8 million figure is reached.

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