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Pinellas School Board of six approves lower tax rate, $1.5 billion budget

A Pinellas County School Board of six on Tuesday had no qualms passing a lower tax rate and a $1.5 billion budget for the 2016-17 school year.

With vice chairwoman Terry Krassner at the helm, because chairwoman Peggy O'Shea was out of town, the School Board unanimously approved a proposed rate of $7.32 for every $1,000 of taxable property value. That's lower than last year's rate of $7.77, but school district revenues — and many tax bills — will grow because of a 7.4 percent increase in taxable property values. The new rate would bring in $4.3 million more in revenue to a district budget that will total $1.5 billion.

They also approved a $19.3 million campus for Melrose Elementary, a $18 million rebuilding and renovation for Pinellas Park Middle and a $11.2 million future home of Career Academies of Seminole Technical High, which is expected to open in 2017.