School board adopts tax rate, approves operating budget

The Italy School Board of Trustees voted to adopt a proposed tax rate and general operating budget for 2010-2011 at a called meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The board adopted a tax rate of $1.241 per $100 valuation — $1.170 for maintenance and operating and $0.0710 for interest and sinking.

This is the same tax rate as last year according to Monica Boyd, business manager.

The adopted expenditure budget — $6,305,225 – breaks down as follows:

Instruction $3,901,955
Instructional resources & media services $87,390
Curriculum & instructional staff development $8,500
Instructional leadership $86,161
School leadership $227,183
Guidance, counseling & evaluation services $117,775
Heath services $26,177
Student (pupil) transportation $116,501
Food services $240,000
Co-curricular/extracurricular activities $258,307
General administration $222,771
Plant maintenance & operation $716,019
Security & monitoring services $5,000
Data processing services $129,893
Debt service – principal $65,000
Debt service – interest $81,243
Debt service – issuance cost & fees $350
Intergovernmental charges (tax assessor) $15,000

The trustees held a public hearing prior to adoption of the budget with no comment from the public.

About half of the hour-long meeting entailed a budget amendment.

The amendment moved $100,000 from revenue to expenditures for the 2009-2010 budget. Boyd explained that this number is an estimated amendment amount and any overestimated amount will return to the fund balance.

Curtis Riddle and Tommy Morrison voted against the amendment, which passed with approval from the other board members.

Riddle said this is the second year in a row the district moved money from revenue to expenditures at the end of the fiscal year.

Riddle said he does not like to take care of business this way and said the administration should tighten spending.

Jimmie Malone, superintendent, said the expenditures were not over-spent but expected revenues were not reached. He explained that all school boards are amending their budget at the end of the fiscal year.

Boyd said they could leave the ending budget as it is but feared it would count against the district during the annual audit.

Riddle said there should be more than $2 million in the fund balance.

Morrison and Riddle said the district should set back a percentage — or about $16,000 per month – in the upcoming budget for the tax rate election (TRE) funds approved by voters in 2008.

Morrison said the remaining air conditioning units, buses and vehicle are getting older and will need replacement eventually. He said those additional funds should be in place, as needed.

Larry Eubank said the budget, basically, is set when the board approves staffing in March. Instructional salaries represent approximately 82% of the budget for 2010-2011.