School board faces $10 million deficit; expected to ask for tax increase

Monday, January 14, 2008 | 2:29 p.m. CST; updated 9:34 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — A substantial property tax increase to cover a roughly $10 million deficit in the Columbia Public School District’s operating budget will be suggested by the Columbia School Board on Monday night.

Superintendent Phyllis Chase said she will recommend a 54-cent increase for every $100 of assessed property when the board meets at 7 tonight. According to the meeting agenda, the districts’ operating budget deficit is $10,353,395 for the 2007-08 fiscal year. Based on the board’s calculations, each 1 cent increase in the levy generates $190,000 net tax revenue annually to the operating budget.

Chase said her suggested increase was calculated after looking at what it would take to erase the budget deficit. She added that the “district is tightening its belt by about $5 million.”

The board will work tonight to adopt a resolution for submitting a proposal to voters.

“This ballot (issue) is out of the ordinary,” Chase said. “We haven’t asked for a tax levy increase in five years.”

The meeting is open to the public and will take place at the district’s Administration Building, 1818 W. Worley St.

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