The School Board of Sarasota County has announced a tentative budget for the 2021-2022 school year.
The board voted 5-0 to the approve the school district’s proposed millage rate and budget as it moves into a summer of tweaking and finalizing the spending plan.
The total appropriated expenditures, transfers and fund/net balances on the tentative budget is $1,087 billion. That’s over the district’s final budget board members passed last September, which was $899.8 million.
The district’s tentative budget actually lowers the tax rate slightly, making up for the increase in revenue through higher property valuations in Sarasota County.
“The purpose of this meeting is to approve to advertise the tentative budget in Saturday’s newspaper,” said Chief Financial Officer Mitsi Corcoran. “In September we will adopt and vote on the final budget.”
The millage rate for Sarasota County Schools is set at 3.461 mils by the State of Florida. The proposed millage rate required by state law is 1.91%, less than last year’s rolled-back millage rate. When all local levies are included, the proposed millage rate is 1.6% more than last year’s rolled-back rate.
“The millage is determined for us by the property appraiser’s certified tax role,” Corcoran said. “In August, the property appraiser will send the TRIM (truth in millage process) notices out to property owners.”
The proposed millage rate is $6.709 per $1,000 of taxable value, a slight decrease from last year’s rate of $6.975.
For example, a home with a taxable value of $100,000, the school district’s portion of your bill would decrease from $697 to $670.
“We’ve been going down almost every year for the past several years and that’s because of property values and new development,” said Chair Shirley Brown.
This does not include property taxes from additional governments, like Sarasota County, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, or cities like North Port and Venice.
The proposed operating budget expenditures of the School Board of Sarasota County are 1.6% more than last year’s total operating expenditures.
The Board voted 5-0 to approve the tentative budget for advertising.
“We are also expecting $5 million in encumbrances from the last school year,” Corcoran said. “That rolls over to 2021-2022.”
A public hearing to adopt the tentative millage and budget is set for 5:15 p.m. July 27. The tentative budget is available to view online at the Sarasota County School Board website.