Pinellas school board approves smaller budget, slightly higher tax rate
The Pinellas school board gave initial approval Tuesday night to a $1.25 billion budget that includes a slight hike in the property tax rate. The proposed new rate is $8.39 for every $1,000 of taxable property value, up a nickel from last year’s rate of $8.34. The owner of a home with a taxable value of $100,000 both years and a $25,000 homestead exemption would pay $3.88 more under the new rate. With property values down, the new rate is still projected to generate $20.8 million less in revenue for schools in 2011-12.
Overall, the district’s budget is about $100 million smaller than last year’s.
The district is still trying to figure out exactly how to cut $55 million from next year’s operating budget. The school board recently approved most of the cuts, but a district proposal to raise health insurance costs and mandate furloughs has yet to be bargained with the employee unions.
The final vote on the budget and tax rate is scheduled for Sept. 13.