Tax hike likely for new BoE budget

Tue, 06/17/2008 - 4:02pm
By: Ben Nelms

Nothing has changed in the past few weeks that might provide for increases in revenue for Fayette County public schools.

As discussed at the June 16 board meeting, previous cuts to the tentative budget that begins July 1 have revenues and expenditures balanced at $197,132,660, representing an increase of $4.97 million, or 2.58 percent, over the current year.

Budget calculations for 2008-2009 are based on an equivalent millage rate of 19.35. The current millage rate is 18.596.

As was discussed at the board’s last meeting, Superintendent John DeCotis reviewed cuts already figured into the proposed 2008-2009 budget.

Increased expenses come in the wake of accelerating fuel and food prices and with a 2.5 percent pay increase for all school system personnel, including the state-required pay increase for teachers totaling approximately $4 million.

Also impacting the budget were a reduction in state revenues from the loss of 280 students, $1.3 million in state-imposed austerity cuts and no new school system initiatives.

Board members had previously agreed to cut 34.5 personnel positions by attrition, reduce overtime costs and implement other measures designed to save on fuel costs.

An upside, if any, would require a surprise positive adjustment to the tax digest, though county growth is expected to equal only 2.6 percent, or with the sale of school system-owned property.

Though not a topic of discussion at the meeting, it was clear that without additional revenue the board will likely face a millage rate increase of .754 to bring the rate to the 19.35 required to meet revenue expectations.

Referencing the coming 2008-2009 budget year, board member Marion Key asked Comptroller Laura Brock what would happen if projected revenues are not forthcoming, whether from local ad valorem taxes or from a possible four percent across the board cut signaled recently for January by Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Brock said such occurrences would require that the budget be amended and, potentially, that programs would be cut.

Also at the meeting, board members approved a 10-cent hike in prices for breakfasts and lunches at county schools. The price of food has increased 23 percent and is expected to rise further in coming months.

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Submitted by hsh87 on Thu, 06/19/2008 - 8:21am.

Yes all the employees are paid by the tax payers, but BOE and Fayette County employees are paid out of separate budgets - in the respect of how they propose to save fuel - I heard they were to cram the buses full - we'll see, won't that be nice for all those kids that are already on the bus about 45 min to an 1 hour without air on the hot days! not to mention the drivers - I know of workers, who by the way don't pay Fayette taxes(live in Pike or surrounding), that have less than half a bus full and work less than the 4.5 hours they are paid to(3 hours max) - now I believe that is waste of our taxpayer money - I'm not opposed to raises, but it needs to be evaluated better because some people are already making 6 figure salaries, while others are barely getting by.

Submitted by NeedtoKnow on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 12:27am.

I'm all for teachers getting raises, and they are state-mandated, so the county has no choice there. Wish we teachers in general were paid what they're really worth, and we're *still* not at that point!

But did you notice the article says ALL BOE employees are getting raises?

So why aren't we hearing complaints here on the blogs about that, like we are about the county employees' raises?

I don't begrudge the raises to the BOE employees *or* the county employees. Just wondering why no one is talking about it.

1and1isnt3's picture
Submitted by 1and1isnt3 on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 7:30am.

Probably because the BOE employees ARE county employees, aren't they? If their pay isn't on a par with surrounding counties, then they deserve a raise.

What we taxpayers should really be up in arms about are decisions by this board that just waste money with few benefits-such as the decision to close East Fayette and bus all of the students to the shiny new Inman. If the board members had to use their personal credit cards to put the fuel in those buses I guarantee you they would have thought more carefully about it. As it is we have a lose lose situation: an expensive school built where one isn't needed and expensive buses burning expensive fuel to bring in the student body from afar.

It kind of makes me wonder what this group has come up with when they say "and implement other measures designed to save on fuel costs."

Submitted by heatjam on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 8:28am.

It's "nice"to know that myself and the few others who blogged way back when against the "3 -way (warm fuzzy) plan" are being proven right. We blogged about the higher fuel costs to bus ALL of the East Fayette students down to Inman, etc. and we were called "cold hearted", accused of all sorts of things and so forth. Well, we ( the tax payers) are all going to pay more so that little Johnny and Little Susie didn't have to deal with that oh so horrible thing of being redistricted....pity.
By the way...all of the Timberlake families that I have spoken to are excited about being redistricted to Braelin. They don't appreciate how it all was done, but are happy with the outcome. To me they were the ultimate winners in this whole debacle and I for one are very happy for them.

Submitted by sageadvice on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 7:57am.

This is kinda like asking, "who does the chief of police or sheriff work for?"

There is no straight answer---at least not from locals.

They have no supervisor, unfortunately, at least not until they either kill someone illegally, or steal money and leave.

They are "special."

Submitted by NeedtoKnow on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 7:55am.

Nope, the BOE employees are totally separate from the County employees. Those who work for the BOE get paychecks from the FayCo Board of Education. Those who work for the County get paychecks from the FayCo Board of Commissioners. Two separate entities.

The pay study that the BOC commissioned had nothing to do with BOE employee pay.

Submitted by heatjam on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 8:10am.

Both groups work for the same ultimate employer...the taxpayers here in Fayette County.

Submitted by NeedtoKnow on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 9:21am.

Duh. Both the BOE and the BOC have to answer to the voters/taxpayers. You're being deliberately dense and antagonistic. My previous post still holds true.

Submitted by heatjam on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 12:28pm.


Submitted by sageadvice on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 8:16am.

Are you kidding? Some are special.
In one department clerks can make $110,000, but not in the other department.
Some have "tenure" whatever that is, some don't.
Some are political, some are simply welded to the job.

Much differences. Taxes don't pay them (not ours anyway) their checks come from the County who has it own money from the state or federal which is just printed as needed!

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