Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough's lowered school tax rate would leave a smaller budget short by $12.4M, as state cuts allocation by $1.5M

TAMPA — Hillsborough County schools received some unwelcome budget news this week in the form of less state funding.

State education officials say the district will be receiving around $1.5 million less than expected for the coming school year because of adjustments in the state funding formula, said chief finance officer Gretchen Saunders.

Statewide, districts will lose $20.2 million in expected funding. In the Tampa Bay region, Pinellas schools will lose around $799,000; Pasco, $532,000; and Hernando, $171,000.

The adjustments were prompted in part because schools will not get $6 million in revenue from concealed weapons permit proceeds, after Gov. Charlie Crist this spring vetoed an attempt by state legislators to tap a state licensing board trust fund. The remaining $14.2 million reflects a decrease in money used to equalize funding between school districts.

Whatever the reasons, the state adjustment will mean the Hillsborough schools budget will be underfunded by $12.4 million rather than $10.9 million, Saunders said.

And it will push Hillsborough further down the road toward the possibility of staff and teacher furloughs. District and teachers union negotiators this month agreed to postpone further talk on that budget-cutting move until January.

On Tuesday night, the School Board adopted a tentative budget and millage rates for the 2009-10 school year.

Both are slated to be lower than last year, with enrollment projected to decline by 1,360 students to 188,228 students when school beings next month.

The board tentatively adopted a $1.6 billion operating budget, a 5.6 percent drop from last year.

The total budget, including capital construction and other funding, would be $2.97 billion.

That budget includes an extra $66 million in federal money, part of the federal stimulus that Florida legislators used to balance the state budget this year.

For the taxpayer with a home valued at $200,000 who takes a $25,000 homestead exemption, the school portion of the property tax would be $1,346.10. At a tax rate of $7.69 per $1,000 of taxable value, down from $7.77 last year, that translates into a $14.88 decrease from last year, Saunders said.

Board members will hold a final public hearing and vote on that budget and tax rate Sept. 3.

Tom Marshall can be reached at or (813) 226-3400.

Hillsborough's lowered school tax rate would leave a smaller budget short by $12.4M, as state cuts allocation by $1.5M 07/29/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 30, 2009 12:06am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Five ideas for cool summer snacks


    The 90-degree temperatures are not letting up anytime soon. We Floridians know to keep some cold treats on hand through September. Ice cream. Lemonade. Ice pops. Whether you're packing a beach cooler or preparing for a pool party, we've got you covered. Level up your summer snack game with these five refreshing …

    What’s not to like about a homemade ice cream sandwich? The thin chocolate cake bakes in about 10 to 12 minutes, and from there it’s all chilling out.
  2. U.S. Pacific commander: Remains of sailors found on USS John McCain


    SINGAPORE — The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet says a number of remains of Navy sailors were found in a compartment of the USS John McCain, a day after the warship's collision with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters left 10 sailors missing.

    The damaged port aft hull of USS John S. McCain, left, is seen while docked next to USS America at Singapore's Changi naval base on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 in Singapore. The focus of the search for 10 U.S. sailors missing after a collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters shifted Tuesday to the damaged destroyer's flooded compartments. [Associated Press]
  3. Florida education news: Solar eclipse, gender gap, new schools and more


    TOTAL ECLIPSE: More than 8,000 Hernando County students skip school after their school district gives them excused absences for the day. Students who …

    Students at Bayonet Point Middle School observe the solar eclipse Monday through their special eclipse glasses.
  4. Epilogue: Martin Giles a man of few, but strong, words for WFLA-AM 970


    As the story goes, his higher-ups at the Misawa Air Base in Japan were clear with their edict to Martin Giles: It was only the mid-1950s, not far enough away from World War II for the Japanese to be trusted.

    Martin Giles, a longtime radio news anchor for WFLA-AM 970, died last week at the age of 80.