The Paradise school board opted unanimously to put a new tax rate before the voters in November.
The board met Monday night for a public hearing on the possible tax rate election. With no opposition from the community, they adopted a tax rate of $1.12 for maintenance and operations (M&O) – up 8 cents from the current rate. The interest and sinking fund tax rate, which services the district’s debt, was set at 30 cents.
The new M&O rate was developed by the board to balance the district’s budget, which was in deficit by as much as $300,000. If passed, it would be the first time district M&O taxes have been raised in at least a decade.
If voters approve, taxes on a home worth $100,000 would rise by $80 per year. The new tax rate would fund the freshly-adopted 2013-14 budget of $11,568,710, which is .26 percent lower than the 2012-13 budget.
Included in the new budget is a $1,000 bonus for PISD staff members, contingent on the new tax rate passing in the fall. If all is approved, the supplement will be paid in November.
BOARD ELECTION ALSO ON BALLOT
The November ballot will also see board places 6 and 7 up for grabs. The incumbents, place 6 trustee Scott Eisen and Place 7 member Lonnie Holder, will face four additional candidates as Bill Mundy and DeAnn Hamilton have joined the race for Place 6, and Ronnie Pewitt and Ben Sanders will compete for Place 7.
In other business:
- The board approved a new lawn maintenance contract with D&C Cleaning and Lawn for $44,999.99. The new contract adds about 10 acres worth of mowing to D&C’s plate that PISD employees were managing.
- The district reported it is still awaiting final numbers of first and second graders to determine if the school has the appropriate number of teachers per student. If the number of students increases, then the school will need to hire another teacher.