One of the main reasons for the tax increase is that the state is requiring that school districts contribute the equivalent of 21.4 percent of employees' salaries into the retirement fund for their employees in the coming year, up from a 16.93 percent contribution rate that has been in effect this year, Superintendent of Schools
Another reason for the tax increase is that the school district is facing an 11 percent increase in the cost of health insurance for district employees for the coming year, he said.
Also contributing to the need for the tax increase is a
At this week's school board meeting, Gobble and Secor said it would be impractical to tap more money from the fund balance.
Gobble pointed out that the school district is already using more than
If the district were to use an even larger amount from the fund balance, it would put the district at risk of running out of money in the coming years, Secor said.
Secor pointed out that the district has been earmarking part of its fund balance in recent years for the increasingly large contributions that the state is requiring the district to make to its employees' retirement fund, and this year some of the fund balance was earmarked to pay for health insurance. And it's anticipated that the district will need to continue to earmark part of the fund balance in future years for those purposes, she said.
Gobble has said the FY 2014-15 budget does not cut district programs.
The school board on Monday voted 5-2 to adopt the final budget and to set the property tax rate at 41.80 mils for the fiscal year that runs from
The new property tax rate is 1.17 mils higher than the current tax rate, which amounts to a 2.9 percent tax increase, Secor said.
"I think we are quite casual when we spend money," he said. "It seems we can spend money on most everything if the need is there. However, it is hard for me to swallow."
The salaries of "a couple of administrators seem to be quite a ways above what they should be," he added.
Hettich also said the state should be providing more money to the school district.
School board member
"I think the school board has shown great restraint in how much we raise salaries," Portnoff said.
Noting that another school district in
Due to the tax increase, the owner of a house with a median assessed value of
However, if that same homeowner has a homestead exclusion, his or her property tax bill will only increase by
Under the FY 2014-15 budget, three full-time positions have been eliminated, including an elementary school teacher, a special education teacher and a physical education teacher. The school board had voted to eliminate the positions at its
The budget includes funding for a new full-time network administrator.
Those voting to adopt the budget and increase the tax rate to 41.80 mils were
At the meeting, the school board also:
- Approved the lease of 500 Venue 8 Pro tablets from Dell for three years for students in grades 5-8. At the end of three years, the school district will have the option of purchasing the tablets for
- Approved a new two-year contract with Athletic Director
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