BROOKSVILLE – The Hernando School Board didn’t have any desire in the last two budget cycles to use its power to increase the tax rate but decided Tuesday to ask voters for permission to do just that over the next two years.
The board unanimously approved a ballot measure for this November’s general election that would ask voters to allow the board to levy an additional 25 cents per $1,000 of property value for the 2011-12 and 2012-2013 budget years.
If voters approve, the board has the option to levy the so-called critical needs millage in each of those years. The district managed to balance the budget without deep cuts this year, but district staffers worry next year will be tough when stimulus dollars disappear, and board members agreed it won’t hurt to ask taxpayers to give them the option.
“I think when we look at the shortages we’re going to have, it’s almost imperative we give the voters the opportunity,” Board member James Yant said before moving to approve the measure.
Hernando was not among the 44 districts that used a supermajority board vote to levy the millage last year. At least that many are expected to do the same this year, the last time boards can do so without voter approval.