District will ask voters for assistance

Published: Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:52 AM.

Norton and board chair Linda Wood said they would look at the most economical way to conduct the election with Supervisor of Elections-elect John Hanlon.

Simply, the math is tilting against the district.

In the past four years since the additional operating levy was approved, declining property values have eroded the value of one mil and the district has realized roughly $4 million less that projected in the run-up to the vote.

In that same span, the district budget has fallen from roughly $21 million to under $16 million.

Norton emphasized that school property taxes fell by 5 percent this past year alone.

But with declining enrollment – the district has lost almost 400 students the past decade and Port St. Joe Elementary alone is projected to be down another 40 students next year – the funding from the state, based on enrollment and the property tax base, as left the district fighting an operational shortfall for several years.

Compounding that is the reality that the board has any real sway over just one component of the budget, Local Capital Improvement.

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