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County, School Board set tentative budgets, millage

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  • | 4:00 a.m. August 8, 2012
  • East County
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MANATEE COUNTY — The Manatee County School Board and Manatee County Board of County Commissioners have set maximum millage rates and approved tentative budgets for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

The Manatee County School Board on July 30 set a maximum total millage of 7.589, a rate that is 4.66% lower than the rate levied last year. The rate, which includes local required effort, basic discretionary and capital outlay fund millages, is expected to generate $181,758,494.

A tentative budget figure of $545,404,285 also was approved 3-2 by the board, with members Karen Carpenter and Julie Aranibar opposed.

School Board members told Superintendent Tim McGonegal to make teacher and employee pay a priority moving forward and to try to find more monies to put toward pay bonuses. Superintendent Tim McGonegal has proposed a 1% bonus for district employees, which is included in the tentative budget.

“The pot of money won’t change,” School Board Chairman Harry Kinnan said. “We can only influence how we spend it. We’re asking for more money (for employees), so the 1% has potential to grow.”

Aranibar, who voted against the proposed budget, said she could not approve a budget figure when teachers still had contracts with salary figures of zero. Negotiations with the teacher’s union, she said, were supposed to be finished earlier this summer, but have not yet concluded.

“Our task is to provide a budget that provides for the needs of education,” Aranibar said after the vote. “I don’t know how we are going to do that when we haven’t told the teachers what they’re going to be paid.”

McGonegal said the proposed budget will likely go up more than $10 million before the final budget is adopted in September, because the district likely will qualify for federal grants.

Manatee County
In Manatee County, commissioners approved a tentative fiscal year 2012-13 budget of $458,463,725 July 26 and set a maximum millage rate of 6.2993, which is about 3% below the rollback rate, or the tax level needed to collect the same amount in property taxes as in the previous year. Setting the millage at the rollback rate would have generated about $4 million for the county.

Adoption of the final budget is set for mid-September.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

Although Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube had not specifically requested the county use the rollback millage rates, he has lobbied the commission for several years about the need to increase pay for his deputies and employees, who are leaving for higher-paying jobs. The adopted millage rate will not allow such pay increases for employees within the sheriff’s office.

Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker, however, is working on a proposal to increase pay for all employees through modifications of their health-care benefits.


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