Increase in property assessments boosts Shelby Co. Schools' budget, though state's funding formula will reduce some of the gain; finance officer urges board to set property tax rate to reap maximum 4 percent revenue
Sentinel News, Shelbyville, Aug. 16, 2017
Shelby County School Board - Preliminary tax talk
Board will vote on tax rates at Aug. 24 meeting
By Ashley Sutter
No tax rate action has been taken as of yet, but on Thursday Susan Barkley, the district’s director of finance, presented the certified property assessment report for the 2017-2018 school year and said she had good news.
“After receiving the certified assessment information, I’m happy to say that the amounts included in the tentative budget were within two percent of what we are now calculating based on the certified assessments,” she said, noting that gave the district an increase of about $478,000 of what was included in the tentative budget.
She added that the district is starting to see some tax revenue based on distilled spirits. This year, she said, they expect to receive about $268,000 this year based on that portion of revenue. She added that they motor vehicle tax revenue should also generate a slight increase of $18,000 over the tentative budget, as well.
“Altogether that amounts to about seven-hundred-and-fifty thousand dollars more in revenue than what we thought we would have when we prepared the tentative budget,” she said, noting it is great news but there is a down side.
“We have to remember that we will not realize that entire amount because of the way the SEEK (Support Education Excellence in Kentucky) funding formula is designed,” she said.
When property assessments increase, the state effort through the SEEK funding formula decreases, she said. “It doesn’t offset completely but it does take a large chunk of that increase in revenue.”
She encouraged the board members to consider raising the tax rate.
“It’s important to note that the SEEK formula only considers the [property] assessments. It doesn’t have anything to do with our tax rates,” she said.
Based on the formula, the SEEK revenue will go down by $586,000, giving the district a gain of $159,892 of the $745,000. She said while that is still a positive gain, if the district adopted a 4 percent tax increase, they could gain an additional $574,000. “SEEK would not take any of that,” she said.
In total, those numbers, she said, would equal about $734,000, which would be enough money to staff and operate the new P-8 center or nearly cover a two-percent across the board pay increase for all staff members. “So that’s a pretty significant amount of money there,” she said.
She also added that if the district had picked up a 4 percent tax increase in FY13 it would have captured about $10 million in additional revenues.
She noted that a 4 percent increase based on a $100,000 assessment would cost the taxpayer $16 on the year.
The board will hold a hearing on Aug. 24. Barkley will ask the board to consider tax rates for approval at that time.
Chief Academic Officer Susan Dugle led a brief presentation on the district’s newest measurement of academic success they are calling the Profile of a Graduate. She said work began in November when a survey was sent out to district staff members. Those responses were categorized into the current six components in the profile. Work on the profile is still underway and it will be presented in October at the end of EdLeader 21.
Also at the meeting, the board will:
§ Recognized Governor’s Scholars and Governor’s School for the Arts Students. The scholar participants include: Hannah Cleary, Rachel Everage, Matthew Munsterman, Caroline Burkhardt, Grant Early, Meredith Gaither, Kimberlee Hebdon, Alicia Reeder, Johnna Warkentine, Katharina Warkentine, Lindsay Creque, Renee Stohlmann, Benjamin Betts, Noah Gartland and Hanako Boucher.
§ Approved waiving board policy to allow Collins students to use common carrier transportation for a field trip to Franklin to view the eclipse on Aug. 21.
§ Heard a report from Director of Student Services Mike Clark on the district’s day five student count. Clark said they were within 14 students of their projection of 6,873 students across the district.
§ Approved Studio K as the architectural/engineer (A/E) firm for the P-8 center project.
§ Approved Admissions and Release Committee (ARC) Chairpersons for 2017-2018.
§ Approved 504 Coordinators for the 2017-2018 school year.
§ Approved an emergency certification of an English teacher.
§ Approved waiving board policy to allow the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce to use school buses for Young Leaders Institute Events.
§ Went into a closed session for the purpose of discussing future acquisition or sale of real property and for the purpose of a meeting (Superintendent's formative evaluation), which state law specifically requires to be conducted in privacy.