GILMER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) — Trustees of the Gilmer Independent School District on Monday night approved retaining the current tax rate of $1.185 cents per $100 valuation, and also called a special Sept. 14 election on changing the way tax rate revenue is spent — a move aimed at increasing Gilmer ISD's state aid by $205,000.
The tax rate for the 2013-14 year will be $1.185 whether the election proposal passes or not. The election will be on increasing the part of the tax rate used for maintenance and operation (M&O) from the current $1.04 to $1.17, which would result in lowering the part used for debt service from the current 14.5 cents to 1.5 cents.
By raising the M&O portion of the rate 13 cents, the school can collect $205,239 more in state aid despite lowering the debt service part of the rate by 13 cents, according to Superintendent Rick Albritton. The "tax swap" would give Gilmer ISD a total of $8,364,156 in state funding, he said.
Overall, he noted, "we've survived seven years without a tax increase, and we're fixing to survive two more years without a tax increase."
Albritton also presented the board Monday night with his first draft of a proposed 2013-14 budget for $18,278,226. It would provide a two percent cost-of-living raise for employees, which would be about $850 for teachers, he said.
The superintendent said he hoped that would cover teachers' increased cost for health insurance of about $75 monthly. He also said the total cost of raises to school workers, including teachers and others, would total about $300,000
The current 2012-13 budget as originally adopted was $17,868,193, Albritton said, but has surged to about $19 million because of improvements to Buckeye Stadium and borrowing $500,000 to purchase buses.