April 30, 2013

Voters in Hamilton approve .25 tax levy for schools

April 30, 2013 Joyce Marie Taylor Suwannee Democrat

Jasper — Hamilton County voters approved a four-year .25 ad valorem tax for critical operating needs of the school district on Tuesday, April 30. Unofficial results from the Supervisor of Elections Office show the referendum passed by a vote of 586-331.

For many years, school districts were authorized to levy 2.0 mils in taxes for capital outlay expenses and then in 2008-09, the legislature changed the amount that could be levied for such expenses, reducing the capital outlay millage to a maximum of 1.75 mils.

In 2009-10, the legislature made yet another change, authorizing school districts to use .25 mil of the 1.75 mils for critical operating needs purposes, subject to a super majority vote by the local school board.

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Moffses said the Hamilton County school district approved the .25 mil to help offset the school system’s budget cuts of about $1.5 million. The next year, school districts were required to get the voters’ approval to continue the levy and voters approved it for three years. That three-year approval period ends June 30, 2013.

Without the continuation of the .25 mil levy, Moffses said the district would have lost about $200,000 in funding.

"I would like to thank the voters for their belief in the students of Hamilton County," said Moffses. "Continuing to provide the additional .25 millage will benefit our entire school system and most of all, our amazing students. Thank you again Hamilton County for your support!"

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