Moore tells school board he doesn’t recommend tax increase

Superintendent Mike Moore told the school board he couldn’t recommend the proposed tax increase in the budget presented to the public Thursday night but that it is needed.
“I don’t get a vote on that,” Moore told the board of the proposed tax increase. “I’m not going to recommend it because I was elected by the people and they asked me not to raise taxes. For 10 years, I haven’t raised taxes. Do we need it? Yes. We are one of the lowest millage counties. There are some things y’all don’t get to vote on. This is one of those I don’t get to vote on. This is a board decision. I’m not telling you not to do it. I just don’t feel good about recommending it based on what I told the people.”

Mike Moore

Mike Moore

Jo Clanton, the district’s chief financial officer, presented the highlights of the $21.9 million proposed budget. Sixty five percent of that funding comes from the state, while 12% comes from federal sources and 22% from local sources. Another 1% comes from 16th section.
The budget presented Thursday night at the public hearing asks for $185,000 additional local funds – the equivalent of an approximate 2.5 mil increase to county tax payers.

Clanton noted the district does have a general obligation bond that will be paid off at the end of next fiscal year that should restore approximately $360,000 to the budget the following school year.
She explained the budget also includes reserving 7% in the district’s fund balance (rainy day fund) as recommended by the state, but without the proposed tax increase that percentage will be lower without making adjustments elsewhere.
“We’re in the lower spectrum as far as what we’re asking for compared to other districts,” School Board President Don Hardin said.

Only one citizen was present for the hearing and asked about the amount of increase sought.
Sup. Moore explained the district was cut three or four times by the state last year and if the district was cut again the 7% may not cover it.
With no further questions, the hearing was adjourned. The budget is scheduled to be adopted at a June 29 meeting at 5:45 p.m.