The property tax increase requested by the Beaufort County School District could be cut in half.
The Board of Education approved a motion Tuesday night that would lower the property tax increase requested for the district's 2012-13 budget.
Originally, the district had requested an increase amounting to about $30 more a year on a non-owner occupied home valued at $250,000. By state law, owner-occupied homes can not be taxed for school district operations.
That increase, along with the district's $177.9 million budget, was approved by County Council in late June. Council approves the school district's budget and sets its tax rate.
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On Tuesday, district chief of operations Phyllis White told the school board that less money would be needed from taxes thanks to the increase in state funding. On a 9-1 vote, the board approved lowering the requested increase to about $15 on a non-owner occupied home valued at $250,000. Board member Michael Rivers objected, and board members Steven Morello, Julie Bell and Bill Evans were absent.
White said that while the larger increase would have improved the district's financial picture in years to come, it made sense to lower the burden on taxpayers since the district received about $1 million more than anticipated from the state.
The district now expects to spend $568,000 in fund reserves after the decrease.
County Council is expected to officially set the tax rate this month.
The board also approved a number of motions related to the search for the district's new superintendent. Current superintendent Valerie Truesdale accepted a job in the Charlotte-Meckenburg, N.C., school district and will leave by Oct. 1.
The motions were recommended by the board's superintendent search committee, which met for the first time Friday.
Those motions included:
Follow reporter Rachel Heaton at twitter.com/HomeroomBft.