The Richmond County School Board passes a tentative $249 million budget and it includes a tax increase. Board Member Helen Minchew tells News 12, no one wanted to raise the property taxes but in order to make up for the $19 million deficit it had to be done. Board members passed a 18.782 mill increase on property taxes for the fiscal year of 2008 which would be a $5.82 increase on a $100,000 home. Under the proposed budget, they had discussed cutting 58 teachers and 57.5 first-grade paraprofessionals but decided that was too harsh. After they re-examined their options they decided to add back in 16 teaching positions and 27.5 teaching assistants.
But in order to make up for some of those expenses going back in the school system, they had to cut one assistant principal position salaried at $104,216 and transfer textbooks into SPLOST III funds. This means they will also have to keep eight public safety officer positions on a freeze and dip into their reserves for another $5 million.
Board members will meet again at 4pm on June 28th to adopt the final budget.