Hillsborough school board passes first budget, tax change
Hillsborough County School Board members approved a $2.8 billion budget Tuesday and a property tax rate that will decrease, while raising more money because of rising property values.
Homeowners will pay $690.60 per $100,000 of taxable value, down from last year's rate of $724.70.
While it is too early for district officials to have precise information about spending, they expect to be farther along in their plans when the budget comes up for a second public hearing on Sept. 6.
Superintendent Jeff Eakins said the past year has been "a journey" as he and his leadership team have had to find ways to cut $100 million a year in spending to protect their reserve account.
He described delayed technology purchases, 90-day holds on hiring and his current intention to get many district employees out of the downtown offices and into the schools. Such moves will require collaboration with the teachers' union.
District officials are still reviewing the early findings of the Gibson Consulting Group, which was hired for $800,000 to examine spending patterns as part of the reserve account issue. A second report from Gibson is expected later this month.