School Board OKs slight dip in millage rate


Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 9:21 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 9:21 p.m.

In approving a tentative budget for the 2013-13 school year, the Alachua County School Board on Tuesday approved a slight decrease in the millage rate. The newly approved millage rate of 8.4020 approved for 2013-14 is a decrease from last year’s rate of 8.549.

One mill is equal to $1 per $1,000 of taxable value, which means an Alachua County property owner whose taxable value is $100,000 would pay $840.20 in school property taxes on a millage rate of 8.4020.

In the process, Alachua County Schools’ annual budget is increasing 3.6 percent from last year.

Scott Ward, assistant superintendent for planning, budgeting and systems accountability, said the most significant increases are in employee salary and benefits.

Alachua County Schools’ annual budget is increasing 3.6 percent from last year.

This year the state increased its retirement rates, and the Alachua County School Board voted for an additional $2 million from the state to go into teacher salaries.

Another big budget item is the increased cost of putting police officers in elementary schools, he said.

District finance staff had penciled into the budget an increase of 18 teaching positions over last year.

School board member Gunnar Paulson asked the board to withhold 16 of the 18 positions until the budget is finalized and the district has a better idea of reserve funds.

Paulson emphasized that that doesn’t mean the board is cutting positions; there will still be at least two more teachers hired than last year.

“We’re not reducing units,” he said.

The board scheduled a public hearing on the millage rate and tentative budget for 5:30 p.m. on July 30 in the Kirby-Smith Center.

Contact Erin Jester at 338-3166 or erin.jester@gainesville.com.

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