SP Budget

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 24, 2011

South Panola budget: no request for more millage

By Rupert Howell

School administrators presented a proposed budget that seeks the current funding percentage level with no increase for new programs and no percentage increase in local funding — asking only for taxes on new property for the local contribution from South Panola School District millage.

The budget was presented during a hearing held Tuesday, June 22 at the school’s Child Resource Center on College Street.

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Although the school district loses the funding “in-lieu” of taxes from LS Power, the power generating company’s facilities have been put on the regular tax rolls at a $30 million value that will at least partially offset the “in lieu” funding payment according to school administrators.

The LS Power assessment was not put on tax rolls as new property millage for school funding purposes, but for the debt service funding for which the “in-lieu” payment was previously used.

Approximately $700,000 of the lieu payment went to service the debt of South Panola High School’s construction in the form of general obligation bond payments for the past 10 years.

Of the almost $40 million budget, approximately $10 million comes from local sources, most from ad valorem or taxes on property and assets.

Superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer predicted that millage levels would remain level with some reduction from the school’s maintenance side and additional mills added to the debt service portion of the tax fund request. He hinted there may be a small millage reduction overall for school purposes.

One mill brings between $190,000 and $200,000 in the South Panola School District.

District trustees are scheduled to meet again June 30 at noon at the Child Resource Center on College Street for final approval of the 2011-2112 budget.