No tax increase in school budget

By REGGIE ROSS
Staff Writer

 

The Grenada School District has not asked for an ad valorem tax increase since 2009, and this year will not be any different, according to one school official.
“Historically, the district has been managed well,” District Business Manager Rodney Murphy said. “Everything is working well, and we will finish in the black. There will not be a tax increase, and the millage rate will stay the same.”
Murphy briefed the Grenada School Board Tuesday on last year’s finances and gave them an idea of what to expect in the financial year 2018-19.
The hearing consisted of two people in the audience, and Murphy told them that the district hasn’t asked for an ad valorem tax increase in 10 years.
For the next fiscal year, the proposed budget for the district is $36,321,631, and of that amount, 20.9 percent or $7,689,453 is proposed to be financed through a total ad valorem tax levy.
The school district is currently operating on a total budget revenue of $35,932,200. Of this year’s amount, 20.8 percent or $7,482,300 is obtained through ad valorem taxes.
For the upcoming year, 59 percent of the district’s budget will go toward salaries, and 20 percent is toward employee benefits. Fifty-six percent of the salary budget will fund certified instructional personnel. The school district is budgeting $22,393,573 on salaries for next year.
Throughout the state, school districts are funded by an average of 34 percent from ad valorem taxation. The Grenada district operates on 25 percent from ad valorem taxes.
“Here we have a lot less of a burden on the taxpayers,” Murphy said. “Our tax rolls are growing, and this will not require requesting a percentage increase in local ad valorem taxes.”
No one in the audience spoke during the hearing, and school board members are expected to return for a vote at their next meeting on Tuesday, July 17.

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