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July 11, 2007

LIBRARY FUNDING IN JEOPARDY
Despite big tax increases by School Board

The Jasper County School Board has informed the Jasper County Library that once again, they will reduce funding to the Library.

In times past, the City, County and School Board all shared equally in funding the library.
Over the last several years, citing the “Service Delivery Strategy” and double taxation, the City has not participated in funding the library. The County and School Board have shared the funding of the Library.

According to a letter dated 6/26/07 signed by Jay Brinson, for FY 2008 (July 1, 2007 – June 30, 2008), the School Board has cut its funding to the Library from $60,000 to $45,000. And to add insult to injury, the funding will decrease by $15,000 per year until the School Board no longer funds the Library at all.
See copy of Letter Here: http://www.taxdogs.com/2008LibraryBudCut.pdf

The School Board has increased its budget to over $17 million for FY2008. As of 5/25/07, per statistics in the Monticello News, the School System had an enrollment of 1998 students. Based on these figures, Taxpayers pay $8500+ per student per year in Jasper County. See School budget for FY2008 here:
http://www.taxdogs.com/2008SchoolBud.pdf

The School Board not only received an increase of $558,000+ due to property value increases, but on top of that, the millage rate for the School System was raised another mil— bringing in an additional $444,579. The tax increase to property owners just for the School Board will be approximately $1,002,580 on your next property tax bill.

If you have comments about the funding of the library, the final budget hearing for the School budget will be held Thursday, July 12, at 6:00PM in the Board Room (old Washington Park School). This is a public hearing, and you will be able to speak. You can also call 706-468-6350 or write to Jasper County Schools, 1125A Fred Smith St., Monticello, GA 31064 with your comments.

Please remember that the School millage rate is capped at 20 mils. As their budget continues to go higher and the State continues to fund less of it, the School Board will likely consider other areas to shift taxes to the County Commissioner’s budget. The library is one area; the new turning lanes for the new High School on Hwy 11 N was another.

TWG
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