By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – Tax-payers in the Water Valley School District will see a seven percent increase in the local tax levy to fund the 2017-2018 school year according to the budget that was presented during a public hearing on June 22 and will be finalized this month. The budget reflects more than a half-million dollars in cuts from state and federal sources for the school in the coming year.
The tax increase will bring in an estimated $98,166 more for the coming school year than last year from local ad valorem taxes. Ad valorem taxes are paid on homes, automobile tags, business fixtures and equipment and real property.
Even with the increase, the school district will operate with $734,966 less money during the year and reflects a reduction in six teacher positions and other budget cuts to make the budget balance. School business manager Randy Goodwin explained that the bulk of teacher cuts come from attrition as retiring educators were not replaced. Other substantial cuts included $20,000 for textbooks, $40,000 for diesel for school buses, $10,000 for utilities and $20,000 for attorney fees.
The 2017-18 budget includes $9,229,597 in estimated revenue with 20.66 percent coming from local sources, 65.39 percent coming from state sources and 13.95 percent coming from federal sources.
On the expense side, just over 80 percent of the budget will fund salaries and expenses for school employees, 16 percent is allocated for supplies, utilities and other expenses and just under three percent, or $272,449, will fund the district’s debt service.