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Officials to talk budget at meeting

The Brookhaven School District will roll out its budget plans ata public hearing on Tuesday at 6 p.m., officials said.

Superintendent Lea Barrett said the district will be looking tomake up for the $800,000 reduction in the budget, and Tuesday isthe public’s chance to put in their two cents’ worth.

“We’ll be talking about the percentages of the budget, where therevenue is coming from, and we’ll explain the expenditurecategories,” she said. “In other words, we’ll outline for thepublic where the money is coming from and where it’s spent.”

The school district is operating for the 2010 fiscal year with aprojected total revenue of roughly $22.45 million, Barrett said. Ofthat, $7.16 million was obtained through ad valorum taxes.

In 2011, the budget has a predicted revenue of $21.86 million, andof that, $7.17 million is from ad valorum taxes.

In spite of the headline of the public notice the school districtis required to run each year, Barrett said there is no increase intaxes at this point.

“Certainly if people thought we mean to ask for an increase in advalorum taxes, we’d have a bigger crowd, but we’ve not done thatyet,” she said. “The language for the public hearing that goes intothe ad is mandated by state law. The verbiage is ‘notice of taxincrease,’ and we have to say that even if we don’t anticipateone.”

As such, she said, a sentence was put into the notice to point outthat there is no increase of the tax millage rate of 48.46mils.

“Our intent is to stay at the same rate for as long as we can,” shesaid. “I think it’s a fairly complex concept, though it may not beto a CPA. Every district says, ‘We need X dollars,’ and once thecity gets their final figures, it comes back and sets the millagerate.”

Barrett said that any citizen of the Brookhaven School District iswelcome at the hearing, which will take place Tuesday night at 6p.m. in the administrative conference room at the school districtheadquarters at 326 East Court St. in Brookhaven.

“It’s an opportunity for public to learn where we’re getting ourmoney and where it’s going,” she said. “It’s open to the public.Anyone is welcome.”