Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress
A $35.5 million JISD budget passed without at hitch Monday following a public hearing that did not attract any resident comments.
Immediately after the hearing, held at the district's new administration building at 800 College Ave., board members – with the exception of James Houser, who was not present – unanimously adopted the budget, along with a $1.32 tax rate.
The largest portion of the balanced budget is earmarked for the salaries of some 900 employees: board members have approved and increase of $1,000 per step for the Teacher's Pay Scale, with all teachers, librarians and RNs to advance one step on the JISD Teacher's Salary Schedule.
“Our teachers will get a little bit over a $1,600 raise” with passage of the budget, Superintendent Dr. Joe Wardell previously pointed out.
Remaining professional staff will receive a 3 percent increase on the mid-point of their pay range, while all other staff is to receive a 4 percent increase on the mid-point of their pay range, according to the district.
A $2,681,950 food service budget and a $4,277,557 debt service budget round out the budget.
About 29 percent of district revenue is generated by taxes, with approximately 70 percent coming from the state. Miscellaneous local and federal revenues round out the figures, the superintendent said.
The $1.32 property tax remains unchanged from the previous year and will be assessed per $100 property valuation.
“The rate has stayed the same (over the past few years), but the taxable property value – which is not controlled by the district, but (established) by the county appraisal district – within our district went up a little bit,” Wardell said previously. “We're generating .67 percent more revenue this year compared to last year (and) because of this, we are required to say that we're 'raising the property tax rate,' when in fact, the rate itself isn't changing at all.”
According to district data, the average home in the Jacksonville school district is valued at $87,894 during the 2013-2014 school year. Taxes on this property would amount to $962.20, Wardell said.
“The main thing to note is that the average (property) value in Jack-sonville went down, but the rates stayed same, so actually, the owner of this average home is paying about $10.42 less than last year.”
The proposed $1.32 tax rate is comprised of a $1.04 Maintenance and Operations tax rate and a Sinking Tax rate of $.28 cents.