Pettus ISD is proposing a $1.17 tax rate as part of a long-range plan to increase funds for staff salaries and facility improvements.
Board members approved this as the proposed tax rate during their meeting Aug. 11.
The $1.17 tax rate is a 13-cent increase from the current rate but still lower than that of two years ago.
“I hope the fine folks of Pettus ISD will see the positive side of this issue by looking first at the 2006 rate of $1.50 vs. the $1.17 rate and appreciate the 33-cent decrease in tax rate from 2006 to 2008,” said Superintendent Tucker Rackley. “For example, a $100,000 appraised property paid $1,500 in Pettus ISD taxes in 2006 and will pay $1,170 at the $1.17 rate, $330 less.”
Rackley said that the additional money generated from the increase will go toward a variety of projects.
“We have developed a list of priorities which include a salary increase for all non-administrative employees, a new science lab at the secondary campus, refurbishing the elementary school, some new school buses, a three-classroom and restroom addition at the secondary campus, new lighting and an all-weather track at Beauchamp Stadium and a new athletic dressing facilities, weight room and mat room,” he said.
A recent change in the law means that voters in November will have the option of whether to approve this 13-cent rate increase.
“This is not a bond issue, so the district is not tied to this rate for 15 or 20 years,” Rackley said. “It is conceivable that the district could complete our long-range plans in seven to eight years...
“The board will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget and tax rate at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 26 in the PISD board room,” Rackley said.
“Also, it should be noted that the timing of this increase is very advantageous to Pettus ISD due to an elevated level of equalization of funds from the state,” he said. “What that means is that the school district will get more state funds to help us accomplish our goals sooner.”
Rackley said that the projected additional funds are around $400,000 – $240,000 from local taxes and $160,000 from the state.
“We will use about $60,000 for salary increases and about $340,000 for facility improvements,” he said.