PORT CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte County Public School Board passed its $467 million budget for 2022-23.
The unanimous approval followed a presentation by district Chief Financial Officer Gregory S. Griner.
The public schools portion of a property owner’s tax bill will be $6.554 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which is lower than last year’s $6.85.
There was only one comment from the public following the presentation.
Richard C. Russell asked the board to be good stewards of taxpayers’ dollars. He asked how the Charlotte County district rates in Florida.
“How do we rate in the world?” he asked.
Members of the School Board normally do not answer members of the public during meetings, but they contact them afterward.
Superintendent Steve Dionisio made his presentation.
General fund revenues and transfers for the current budget are about $22.3 million more than revenues budgeted in 2021-22.
• The referendum that Charlotte County voters approved nearly four years ago will yield $27.3 million in revenue.
• The budget includes an unassigned ending balance of $16.6 million which is approximately 8.4%. Also, designated reserves of $12.5 million have been established for specific purposes which potentially may occur during 2022-2023.
• Allocations are based on being able to meet compliance with the class size amendment.
• The budget reflects an estimated increase in students enrollment from 2021-22 of 316 more students.
• Also includes in the budget are 39 more positions than there were last school year.
• The capital improvement tax rate yields $8.9 million more than in 2021-22 due to the increase in taxable values of real property in Charlotte County.
His data showed instruction, salaries, and benefits were three of the biggest expenditures in the general fund, and that general fund revenue sources came primarily from local sources (79%) which would include taxpayers, followed by state funding (17%).
After the meeting Griner warned although the public schools portion of the property tax rate is lower this year, people’s taxes will probably go up since property values and assessments have increased.
To view the final budget, visit yourcharlotteschools.net/domain/10.
At the workshop Thursday, the School Board discussed the referendum — set to expiring. Voters in November will have the chance to decide whether to extend the additional $1 per assessed property value for another four years.
The board revealed plans in upcoming weeks for students at various grade levels to gather around Charlotte County with signs, asking the public to support the referendum.
Board member Kim Amontree commented on the referendum Thursday night at the regular meeting.
“When we went out and did our presentation, the message we gave go the public is that we would take at least half of the dollars and use it for salaries and benefits. I do see that we are doing more than half,” Amontree said. “We started out the referendum with 46 positions but are now up to 71 through the referendum.”
Amontree said 20 of those positions are held by security aides.