Advertising high, but planning for a lower final tax rate, the Greencastle School board reviewed its 2008 budget on Wednesday.
No public comment was received on the budget, which has a total estimated tax rate of $2.44 per $100 of assessed valuation. The hearing was conducted in the high school library.
In a comparison of the tax rates from 2005 through 2008, the board saw that the 2008 rate is figured high for the General Fund, Debt Service Fund and Capital Projects Fund.
The total tax rate is about 66 cents higher than the current year, Green said, but he added that he could almost guarantee that once the final figures are in, next year's tax rate would be about the same as 2007 -- which is now $1.80 per $100 of assessed valuation.
The budgets for each of the funds will be around the same as the current year for most funds, he said. However, the cost of school buses has risen, so the Bus Replacement Fund was increased by $50,000 in anticipation of buying four new school buses next year.
He estimated the assessed valuation of property in the school district to be around $550 million for next year, Green said, but the state's estimate is around $618 million. He said he hopes the final figure is closer to the state's estimate, but he felt safer using the lower number since the state's original estimate for 2007 was about a half million dollars higher than the final figure on which the budget was based.
He also pointed out that the actual General Fund tax dollars generated locally will be cut by about $159,000 next year. That means the tax rate for 2008 should be lower, but again, that depends on the final assessed valuation approved by the state.
Also during the hearing, the board granted approval to advertise the 2008 bus replacement and capital projects plans. Approval of those plans will be considered in September, along with final budget approval.