At a Budget hearing, special meeting of the Escambia County School Board on Tuesday, July 29, The tentative 2008-2009 budget was approved. To view the entire proposed budget, follow this link:
I was amazed that more of the general public did not show up to lend some input/speak. I appreciate the fact that we had two speakers come forward and give us their thoughts and opinions.
I'm equally amazed that this budget did not get any coverage in our local press this morning. With such a gigantic budget, compared to every other local government body, one might naturally make the assumption that more interest would be taken. This would be a bad assumption, based upon what I'm seeing.
Total Tentative 2008-2009 Budget -------$632,989,862.17
Total Millage -----7.784
Total tax increase (estimated) for a
homeowner with a property valued
at $150,000.00 compared to 2007-2008 -----$9.60
One note--although we are being put in a position, by our legislature, to levy a higher millage rate this year over last year---our overall budget has been reduced by 3.4%, nearly 22 million dollars. One more thing--although some of these locally levied millage rates are categorized as "discretionary"--the truth is, and it came out in the meeting last night, that we had no choice but to levy these mills at these rates. If we had not, then millions of additional state dollars would have been forfeited.
I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.