Pinellas to consider renewing quarter-mil tax rate hike
As we've reported many times, Pinellas faces either a $26 million or $40 million budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year, depending on whether you count the $14 million it hopes to absorb in class-size costs. But all along, the people putting together the budget models have assumed the school board will, for a second year in a row, take advantage of legislation that allows it to optionally raise property tax rates by an extra quarter mill.
Without that extra quarter mill (that's 25 cents more for every $1,000 of assessed property value), the district's budget hole would be $15 million deeper.
On Tuesday, the board will consider approval of an "intent to levy" that extra millage, so staff can include it when it advertises the preliminary budget and millage. (See page 278 of the agenda packet for more detail.)
The quarter mill requires a super-majority (at least five members) to pass. Last year, the board okayed it 6-1, with board member Carol Cook voting no in protest.
The 2010-11 year is the last year the board can approve the extra millage without voter approval.