UNION COUNTY — Taxes won’t increase but salaries for teachers and other staff members will under the Union County School District budget for fiscal 2016-2017.
The Union County Board of School Trustees voted unanimously Monday to approve second and final reading of the budget which projects expenditures totaling $27,855,640, an increase of $663,269 or 2.4 percent over the current budget of $27,192,371. Most of the increase ($607,000) is the result of increased payroll costs due to increases in salaries and benefits for teaching staff and support staff such as administrators, clerical workers, and custodians.
In briefing the board about the budget at its May 23 meeting, Finance Director Lynn Lawson said that the increase in salaries and benefits for teaching staff accounts for 85 percent of the increased payroll costs. Lawson said the increase in salaries and benefits is due largely to state-mandated increases for certified teaching staff. He added that for each year they teach, teachers also receive a year of experience step increase in their salaries.
The remainder of the increase in the budget ($56,000) is for increases in non-payroll costs such as utilities and insurance premiums.
Even though the budget is $663,269 more than the current budget, Lawson told the board is does not include a tax increase. He said the district’s tax millage will remain the same at 167.9 mills including 119.9 mills for operations and 48 mills for debt service.
As required by law, the district’s budget is balanced with project revenues equalling projected expenditures. Of the 27,855,640 in projected revenue in the new budget only $5,752,955 or 20.7 percent are from local sources such as ad valorem taxes on real property ($3,358,000). The remaining $22,102,685 or 79.3 percent are from state and federal sources including the Education Finance Act ($10,115,000).
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.