Bay District Schools proposes lower millage rate

Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 10:46 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Inflation is impacting everything from groceries, gas prices, to property values in Bay County.

“It’s hard to drive anywhere in Bay County without seeing some new construction or major renovation going on, so obviously our tax roll, or taxable value of all of the land in Bay County is increasing,” Bay District Schools CFO Jim Loyed said.

That’s why Bay District Schools officials are looking to make more revenue without raising your taxes. Board members are proposing a lower rate of 5.5 mill. This is lower than last school year’s 5.84 mill and has consistently gone down since 2009.

“To get your revenue, you multiply a number, a rate, times a taxable value. What happens is your taxable value goes up, you would have to reduce that rate to generate the same amount of money,” said Loyed.

For example, the new rate saves property owners $34 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

“So even though we’re lowering our rate, our millage rate, it will generate more dollars,” said Loyed.

And with the rising cost of inflation, that’s more tax dollars the district is working to put in employees pockets.

“We’re competing with everyone else and if everybody else is raising salaries, we’ll lose employees and we want to keep and hire new highly qualified teachers and support staff,” said Loyed.

Raising salaries is also a part of this upcoming school year’s overall budget of almost $610 million.

“Including every single thing that we do from debt service, to food service, to capital projects, building new facilities, to paying teachers,” said Loyed.

This budget is more than $70 million more than last year.

“It’s the third version of the (COVID) CARES Act, so that’s where the majority of the increase comes from. There is some increase in capital, and there was a reasonable increase in our operating budget this year, plus we’re budgeting for an increase in students,” said Loyed.

Hoping for the best outcome despite inflation.

BDS will have its first public hearing for the budget and proposed millage on August 2nd. The final millage and district budget will be voted on September 8th.

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