Reduced Taxes, Teacher Raises: Leon County School Board Approves Budget

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By Bailey Myers
July 30th, 2013

Tallahassee FL - The Leon County School Board has approved the 2014 fiscal year budget, and it will affect both homeowners and teachers.

Taxes will decrease for homeowners. Teachers meanwhile, are expected to see a pay raise. Although it initially appears that the slight decrease in taxes and increase in funds for teachers may not seem like much, but it can truly make a big difference.

The budget was the key topic during Tuesday's Leon County School Board Meeting, because home owners in the county will start to see a change in their taxes.

Wimberely, "If you have a $200,000 home, you will pay about $63 less. If you have a $100,000 home it would be $27 dollars less. But, that's assuming your home value did not increase."

That's a .346 of a mill decrease for home owners. The other hot topic-- a raise for teachers. Superintendent Jackie Pons says the district has adopted a plan to distribute 5.6 million dollars-- about 2,100 to 2,400 dollars to each teacher in Leon County. The Teachers Union and the School Board are still discussing terms.

Shari Gewanter is the Vice President of the Leon Classroom Teachers Association and she says, "Well we are hoping to do what the Governor said, put as much of the money back into teachers pockets as we possibly can, because we haven't seen a raise in six years."

Superintendent for Leon County Schools, Jackie Pons explained, "The board took every dollar that came from the legislature in that pool of dollars which was 5.6 million for the Leon County School system, and they've agreed to put all those dollars into salary increases."

Teachers are now wondering how they will receive it when Gewanter added, "Lets see how many different ways the pie has to be cut in order to include all of the people fairly."

There is at least one more meeting planned between the teachers and the school board to negotiate terms. They plan on adopting that budget during the September 10th meeting.

By Bailey Myers
July 30, 2013

Leon County, FL - The Leon County school board is set to approve its 2014 budget tonight... And you'll feel the impact. The budget-- if approved tonight-- would reduce taxes for homeowners, and give raises to school employees.

The school board members discussed the tentative budget during last week's meeting. But tonight is where they will make a final decision. Some of the changes include a drop in the millage rate property owners will be expected to pay during this next school year.

The budget director says there would be a .346 of a mill decrease for home owners. The Superintendent said tonight's key mission is about getting that extra 2100-2400 dollars onto teachers paychecks ASAP. They still are negotiating those details with the teachers union, and are even considering contributing part of the budget to everyone else working for the school district.

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