2012-10-18 / Front Page

School board approves tentative budget that won’t increase 2012 property taxes

By KIP BURKE
news editor

The Wilkes County Board of Education has proposed a tentative budget that will require no increase in the property tax millage rate, and board members agreed to have the tax digest published immediately so that tax bills could go out early in November.

Superintendent Dr. Rosemary Caddell proposed to maintain the millage rate steady at 16.75 mills for the sixth year, and the board concurred. There will be a shortfall of some $140,000, she said, but some expected cuts in federal funding will not come until next year, so funds will be available by next spring to cover the shortage in tax revenues.

Declining land and home values have lowered tax revenue countywide, board chairman Ricky Callaway said, but the board’s budget cuts and austerity practices over the past few years have allow the school portion of the property tax to remain the same.

Because the school system is not raising taxes, no public hearings are required. The proposed millage rate will become official when the board votes on it in a meeting set for Thursday, November 1.

The board also voted to move ahead with the roofing project for Washington-Wilkes Elementary School. The superintendent has been working with an architectural firm that specializes in school work, James W. Buckley and Associates, she said, and the board authorized Dr. Caddell to proceed with getting a design for a new roof to replace a troublesome leaky roof on the school. The roof will require a capitol outlay of some $800,000, of which more than $450,000 will be reimbursed by the state next year.

The board also approved out-ofstate travel for two members of the nutrition staff to the Lunch Box financial software user group conference in Tennessee, and approved a date of January 8, 2013, for board member ethics training in Lincolnton.

The board also approved the reallocation of budgeted general funds from grade nine to 12 instruction to staff development. The increase in staff development is required to meet the planned rollout of new curriculum, Dr. Caddell said.

Finally, the board approved the final reading of revisions to three board policies.

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