My wonderful mailman brought my Taxing Authority Tax Information aka TRIM last week. I am taxed by the County, the City, the Water Management District and the School Board. By far the most expensive tax among the four ironically is the School Board.
I know schools are expensive to run. I want our children to get the best education they can. The School taxes are a little less than last year but a new tax addition is a request for 1.5 mils for facility maintenance. This 1.5 mil tax will mean that the School Board will raise $983,060 dollars to fix things that need fixing.
The old auditorium is certainly one thing that needs fixing. The large space and stage would allow the children many opportunities for performances, band concerts and community meetings. The preliminary estimates for fixing the old high school auditorium are roughly $300,000 dollars. The new tax will garner $983,060 dollars to be used at the School Board's discretion. I do not know and they do not say, what needs repair.
I would hope that the Board does not put a dime into the burned, abandoned old elementary school. The Church group has been asking the Board to make repairs there.
To date the Board has signed the $1.00 a year rental contract, the Church has not signed. There are no benchmarks in the contract that state what the Church must do. The Church suggests that they may want to purchase the buildings after the contract period is up. At the August 12th meeting a Board member opined that the sale price should be the amount that the Church has put into repairs. Today the property appraiser says that the school is worth one point four million dollars.
I for one don't want to pay taxes for repairs that will only financially benefit this single Church. Nothing against Churches. I give to my own Church. I give my money, not tax payer money.
I for one do not have confidence in this same Board that drove our school system into the financial dust and caused the State to take over. I think "at the discretion of the School Board" is a scary phrase. We tax payers deserve a better accounting of how our money will be spent.
The final budget meeting for the School Board is September 9, 6 p.m. at the School Board building. Let someone know what you think.
Merry Ann Frisby