BSD maintains tax rate for new year

Published 11:31 am Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Brookhaven School District’s nearly $29 million budget for the upcoming school year shouldn’t result in a tax increase for residents.

The district presented a budget proposal Tuesday night with an expectation that millage rates will remain the same.

The budget will be largely supported by Mississippi Adequate Education Program funding at 45.54 percent. The school received an extra $470,000 from MAEP this year over last year, but $445,000 of that went to state-mandated teacher pay raises. The district decided to use the remaining money to give support staff (custodial, transportation, administration, etc.) a comparable pay raise, excluding Superintendent Ben Cox.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Local ad valorem taxes are expected to contribute 30.96 percent of the budget. The current millage rate for BSD is 48.6 mils and district officials expect that number to remain the same.

The district is expected to receive 14.86 percent of its budget from federal funds. Generally, federal funds are used to fund specific programs or initiatives. The remaining 8.64 percent will come from certain state programs, school lunches, student activity fees (yearbooks, prom, etc.), daycare fees, transportation fees and donations.

The greatest expenditure for the district will be salaries at 57.86 percent, with benefits taking up another 19.49 percent. The district will be paying for an extra teaching position for the new polymer science program at the Brookhaven Technical Center.

Other large expenditures for the upcoming school year include purchasing equipment for the polymer science program and the returned auto mechanics program at the BTC, a charge for its new time-keeping system, the purchase of three new buses estimated at $85,000 a piece and roof work expected to cost between $55,000 and $60,000.

The district is partly funding these expenditures from 16th section land interest money. The district also transferred $100,000 from timber escrow (acquired from things like timber sales) to the 16th section land interest fund for these projects.

“I’m really pleased with the budget,” Cox said.

With recent issues with funding cuts, Cox said he is proud that they have managed to maintain a balanced budget without raising taxes since 2007.

“Ms. (Susan) Cochran has done a wonderful job working on the budget,” Cox said.

The school board will vote on the budget at its regular board meeting on June 29 at 6 p.m.