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School district proposes bigger budget and higher taxes

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Homeowners would see an increase in the rate of their school district taxes under a budget plan proposed by the Hernando County School District. Meanwhile, the per student instruction allocation has increased for fiscal year 2021-2022.

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The District’s first budget and associated tax meeting took place on July 27. The Board is required to conduct two public hearings before the budget is formally adopted.

The tentative proposed budget plan of $340,728,827 represents an increase of $16,185,520 over the $324,543,307 fiscal year 2020-2021 budget.

Last year, voters approved a 1 mill increase to support teacher salary increases.  This 1 mill increase will bring in about $11.8 million in revenue.  Including this 1 mill increase, the proposed tentative millage rate is 6.667, representing a 23% increase in tax revenues over last year. 

Under the proposed budget plan, the base student allocation rises to $4,372.91 per student from $4,319.40 in fiscal year 2020-2021. The difference represents an increase of $53.42 over 2021.

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If you look at a dollar bill, 69-cents or every dollar is allocated for instruction,” Heather Martin, assistant superintendent of business and support services told the Board. “This includes primary salaries for teachers and other employees’ salaries and supply costs.”

School administration and operations accounts for 27-cents with District support costs accounting for 4-cents.

District Director of Finance and Purchasing Joyce McIntyre told the Board that for a house valued at $150,000 with a tax value of $125,000 after a homeowner’s exemption,  school taxes would rise to $847.00 from $739.00 representing an increase of $108.00.

The Board unanimously adopted the tentative millage rate of 6.667 and unanimously approved the proposed budget.

The final public hearing on the School District’s proposed budget is slated for Tuesday, Sept. 7. at 5:01 pm.

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