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Schools to hold budget hearing

The School Board proposes a lower millage rate but an increase in the budget.

By KENT FISCHER

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 11, 2001


LAND O'LAKES -- The Pasco County School Board will hold its final public hearing tonight on a proposed $546-million budget and the tax rate needed to fund it.

The board has proposed a millage rate of 9.025, down from 9.341 mills last year. Even though the millage rate is likely to go down, the proposed budget is still $22-million more than last year's because of increased state aid and a growing county tax base.

The owner of a home assessed at $100,000 with a $25,000 homestead exemption will pay $676.87 this year, down $23.70 from last year.

Homeowners may see their tax bills increase, however, if their home's assessment increased by more than 2 percent over last year.

Altogether, the proposed budget will reach $546-million. More than half of it will fuel the district's "general fund," which pays for day-to-day operations. The rest of the budget pays for school buses, cafeterias, insurance and school construction.

About 80 cents of every dollar the district spends goes toward people, mostly for salaries and benefits.

Local property taxes will generate about $72-million for the general fund. The rest of that fund, about $225-million, will come from state and federal aid as well as transfers from other accounts.

The School Board will meet at 6 tonight at its office in Land O'Lakes at 7227 Land O'Lakes Blvd.

- Kent Fischer covers education in Pasco County. He can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6241 or toll-free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6241. His e-mail address is

kfischer@sptimes.com.

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