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Broward School Board To Vote On Property Tax Hike

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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – After the last legislative session, Gov. Rick Scott touted the fact that legislators had boosted education funding by more than a billion dollars statewide.

Part of the money to increase per pupil spending by $407 comes from property taxes collected by local school districts. Some school districts will have to raise those taxes to meet their obligation, others will not.  Broward is one of those counties affected, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald, Miami-Dade is not.

Tuesday evening the Broward School Board will vote on a proposed school district tax rate of 7.48. If approved, the owner of a home valued at $200,000, after claiming a homestead exemption, would see the public schools portion of their tax bill go up about four dollars.

“That’s a modest amount,” Superintendent Robert Runcie told the paper.

Even though the district received an additional $93 million in state funding this year much of it went to state imposed expenses including $47 million for teacher raises and a new required $29 million contribution to the state employee retirement system.

Another problem for the district is their capital improvement budget which goes towards every from building repairs to new computers and band instruments. In recent years it has been lawmakers have dramatically reduced the amount of property taxes that local districts can collect for capital improvements.

During the last legislative session, Broward asked state lawmakers to restore the capital funding it used to get, but the strongly anti-tax Legislature wasn’t interested. Broward is now exploring whether to ask voters to approve a bond issue or some other locally based solution (such as a sales tax increase), according to the paper.

CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report

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