Sarasota County School Board to present 2013-14 budget

 

Sarasota County School Board to present 2013-14 budget

 

Date: July 22, 2013
by: David Conway | News Editor

 
 

 

Sarasota County School Board staff will present the superintendent’s tentative budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year at a meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Due to a growth in county taxable values and a proposed millage rate increase, the school board’s proposed tax levy would increase to about $348 million, 6.7% more than the 2012-13 proposed levy. The budget includes a 2% increase in the millage rate levied by the board, rising to 7.970.

A portion of the levy, set by the state legislature and required to collect about $70 million in grants, represents the entirety of the variance over last year. The rest of the rate, set by the school board, is slated to remain flat over last year.

That rate includes a 1.5 mill property tax that would generate roughly $63 million for capital expenditures. The board’s list of projects for 2013-14 includes construction and remodeling at 15 schools, building purchases for charter schools, and the purchase of 45 school busses.

Operating expenditures are also set to increase for the first time since the Great Recession, rising 4.54% over last year. Over half of the increase — about $10.7 million — is tied to legislative mandates to increase teacher pay, an uptick in retirement benefits and an anticipated rise in health insurance costs, according to budget documents.

The other major source of the operating budget increase is a $6.2 million rise in purchased services, which is due to an increase in students attending charter schools.

The budget will be presented Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the Landings Administrative Complex, 1980 Landings Blvd. A public hearing on the millage rate and budget will be held a week later, July 30. Final adoption of the budget is scheduled for a public hearing Sept. 10.

More information about the 2013-2014 tentative budgets can be found here.

Contact David Conway at dconway@yourobserver.com.

 

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