JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Jackson County school board members have set the final millage rate for the upcoming budget, but it’s not what the superintendent expected.
The state has been pushing Jackson County to raise more money to pay for its school system.
“Gave you some push back about, hey, you guys are not you’re not doing what you can locally, but you’re asking for us to facilitate some of the capital outlay purchases,” Jackson County School Board Chairman Chris Johnson said.
As a result, Superintendent Steve Benton recommended the board raise the property tax millage rate to 1.5 mills.
“Money is for our school buses, paying for our property insurance, fixing all our construction of the buildings, buying computers and it also pays the salary of all our bus drivers,” Benton said.
It would have generated an additional $3.4 million but during their September 14th meeting, school board members dropped the rate hike to 1.25 mills.
“I was a little taken aback that, hey, you know, we can make this thing work with 1.25 I’m proud of the board, for that decision, it’s just that we’re really going to have to look at things and we’re really going to have to work to be able to cut,” Johnson said.
The cut means the district will receive $570,000 less in revenue.
“I’m not all about taxes, but I do know that this is a much-needed tax that everyone you know, it’s not much of a burden on the taxpayer, but it would definitely benefit our school system,” Benton said.
Despite his disappointment, Benton said it won’t stop him from leading a successful school district.