Clarke Community School Board approved its 2014-15 certified budget during a March 24 school board meeting.
A public hearing was held on the district’s budget during the meeting.
Superintendent Benita Gonzales spoke during the public hearing and discussed many facets of the budget, including how the district’s special education costs increased by $59,126, which is an increase of 4.6 percent.
Gonzales also discussed property taxes and the school budget.
“Our funding for students is paid by a combination of local property taxes, and also through funds called state aid from the formula,” she said. “Also, our property taxes make up about one-third of the total funding for our general fund. Then, we have a mix of property tax and state aid, which is again determined by the formula. So, a district with lower property valuation will have a higher tax rate than a district that has higher property values.”
Clarke School Board President Gerard Linskens said a question he often hears is whether the increase or decrease is about the same for Clarke County taxpayers.
“It’s really pretty good news,” Gonzales answered.
The proposed tax rate per $1,000 taxable valuation is $15.67615.
“This year’s publication was $15.67, so we published 12 cents more (per thousand) this year than last,” Gonzales said.
The school board approved these facets of the budget:
• The regular physical plant and equipment levy at .33/$1,000 rate for the 2014-15 budget.
• The voted physical plant and equipment levy at $.54184/$1,000 rate with 5 percent income surtax for the 2014-15 budget.
• The management fund at $315,000 for the 2014-15 budget.
• The debt service at $200,000 for the 2014-15 budget.
• The general fund levy at $13.12084 for the 2014-15 budget.
• The overall district levy rate at $15.67615 for the 2014-15 budget.