Written by Daniel Offner Friday, 30 May 2014 00:00
Voters in the Island Trees School District cast their ballots on May 20, approving a $60.2 million spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year by a 78 percent margin.
According to unofficial tallies, 957 residents voted “yes” while 267 voted against the 2014-2015 budget.
“I would like to thank the community for again supporting the Island Trees school budget,” said Island Trees schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy. “Year in and year out, the Island Trees residents continue to support their investment in our school programs, services and students... for that, I truly thank the residents.”
This year, voters passed a proposed $60.2 million spending plan that comes with no reductions in staff, and maintains existing programs at the schools.
Spending in the adopted budget represents a 1.89 percent increase—or $1,116,861—over the 2013-2014 budget.
The school district’s approved spending plan for 2014-2015 also comes with a zero percent levy increase. Although spending increased, Murphy said that without counting the money proposed for capital projects, the budget would have only increased .62 percent from last year.
According to school officials, this zero percent levy increase was achieved through contract settlements with the four collective bargaining units and an increase in state aid, which will cover $452,927 of the total $754,879 budgeted for new capital projects.
The levy falls approximately $957,334 under the state imposed two percent tax cap.
However, because the levy and the tax rate increases differ slightly from home to home, not everyone is in the clear.
According to Assistant Superintendent for Business Susan Hlvanka, property taxes are estimated to increase by $8.03 per $1000 of assessed property value next year.
For Island Trees residents that have not petitioned their taxes this year, this means they can expect to pay about the same amount as they did in 2013-2014. Others may still see a slight increase in their school tax bill, while others may even see a decrease.