By VICTORIA VILLANUEVA-MARQUEZ

Staff Writer

The Sarasota County School Board will host a public hearing tonight to adopt the final budget and millage rate for the 2019-2020 school year.

The hearing will take place at 5:15 p.m. today in the board chambers, 1980 Landings Blvd., Sarasota.

The tentative budget and millage rate was approved at a July 30 meeting. The board adopted a general fund budget of nearly $484 million. The sum is up $19 million from last year’s general funds due in large part to higher rates in employee benefits, and other large expenses.

These expenses include upgrading locks on classroom and administrative support doors, and a half-percent pay increase for all employees who completed a year of service in the 2018-19 school year.

The board also passed the county’s millage rate, which has been set at $6.943 per $1,000 of taxable value — a .86% decrease from last year’s $7.003 millage rate.

During the hearing Tuesday, attendees will be allowed to comment and ask questions before the board makes its final decision on the budget and property taxes.

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