Forest City changes tax method


Times-Shamrock Writer

All things being equal, Forest City Regional School District likely will have more revenue to work with next year.

In a 6-2 vote Monday night, the school board approved a $12.4 million tentative budget for 2011-12 that levies the same millage rate – 20.07 – on residents of the six municipalities that make up the district. A mill is $1 in tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

Forest City Regional spans three counties that have used different millage rates. But an equal millage rate will bring in more tax revenue.

The district has cut its budget to make up a potential deficit if proposed state funding cuts are approved. The district would have faced a shortfall of more than $467,000 under its present taxing method, but that drops to about $190,000 using the new rate.

With an equal millage rate, the average resident of Forest City Region I next year would pay $1,023.04, up from $1,005.36 this year; Forest City Region II, $1,034.22, up from $1,016.35; Herrick, $1,220.41, up from $1,199.32; Union Dale, $890.38, up from $874.99; Clinton Region II, $1,247.15, up from $1,142.68; Mount Pleasant, $1,673.08, up from $1,532.92; and Vandling, $946.62, down from $953.74.

Board members Maragaret Ennis and Linda Zefran voted against the tentative budget, and Henry Nebzydoski was absent.

Community members attending the meeting applauded upon learning the band director position was added to the budget. The band director is retiring this year with three other teachers, and the district had introduced its budget last month without filling any of those jobs.

Board President Mary Emmett said the district looked into using other teachers certified in music to cover the workload next year, but the scheduling was not feasible.

“It was never really decided that we were not replacing him; we just were looking at numbers and it just didn’t work out,” she said. “The board felt overwhelmingly that we wanted to keep the position, and hopefully it will end up that way.”

Whether the board votes to approve its final budget June 13 depends on whether a state budget is in place. The district does not know exactly how much state money it will receive, Ms. Emmett said, so the budget is a “work in progress.”

“Between now and sometime in June when it becomes a final budget, there will probably be a number of changes,” she said.

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