~District seeking continuance of one mil additional levy~

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 09:10 AM.

What the district is hoping is to avoid a budget shortfall of at least $1.8 million – an additional mil is currently worth roughly $1.3 million – if the levy does not pass, which could result in drastic cuts across the board.

A mil is equal to $1 per every $1,000 in appraised personal taxable property.

The value of that mil, which has dropped from $2.2 million four years ago when voters first approved the additional operating levy, remembers one side of a double-edged sword for the district.

The district is considered property rich under Florida’s public school funding formula, Norton said, and therefore local taxpayers are asked to pay more for schools than they did, say, 10 years ago, from roughly 50 percent of the bill to nearly 80 percent of the bill.

Local taxpayers foot more of the tab for public schools than many other districts, particularly area rural counties, even though property values have eroded the past four years.

The other edge of the blade for the district is declining enrollment. The district has lost nearly 400 students in the past decade – each student carries a set per-pupil funding under the state’s funding formula.

The district is also left with few options to raise operating funds.

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