Three York County school districts have planned or approved property tax increases for the coming year.
The York school district has approved its budget for 2017-18 with a property tax increase.
The increase amounts to $30 more in taxes each year on a $100,000 business, non-owner occupied home or rental property, said Tim Cooper, public information officer for the district. The board approved the 2017-18 budget on June 13.
The tax increase will not affect homeowners due to Act 388, South Carolina’s property tax reform measure, which replaced a tax levy on primary residences with a one-cent sales tax increase on most retail purchases to pay for school operations. Act 388 left many school districts short on revenue, resulting in spending cuts.
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The increase will help fund the district’s $44.5 million budget, which includes salary step increases for all eligible employees, increased operational costs and money for insurance and retirement cost increases.
More than 86 percent of York’s budget is for salaries and costs related to employees, said Amy Hagner, assistant superintendent for finance and operations.
The district decided to hold off on upgrading the district’s open routing coordinator position to that of an assistant transportation director, Cooper said. The position will be looked at during the 2018-19 budget season.
York, a small district, has had multiple people handling safety, including bus safety and emergency preparedness, throughout the district, Hagner said. The district wanted to put those responsibilities under one person within transportation, but will continue to handle safety as is for 2017-18, Cooper said.
The balanced budget assumes the property tax increase and a base student cost of $2,425 per student. Legislators compromised to increase the state base student cost by $75 — the Senate proposed $85, the House $50.
The budget also includes $70,000 for a new full-time elementary classroom teacher at Hickory Grove-Sharon Elementary School.
The budget reduces the amount salaries are cut for retired employees. Currently, full-time working retirees receive a 10 percent salary reduction, Hagner said. The approved budget calls for an 8 percent reduction instead, a cost of $40,000.
The York school board will next meet on Aug. 8 at the district office, located at 1475 E. Liberty Street in York.
The Rock Hill school district is proposing a tax increase for 2017-18 and is set to approve a $151.2 million balanced budget on June 26.
If approved, the increase would amount to $36 more in taxes each year on a $100,000 business, non-owner occupied home or rental property, said Mychal Frost, spokesperson for the district.
The budget includes the state-funded $2,425 per student and the tax increase, according to the district. The state is not fully funding the base student cost as outlined in state law. If fully funded, the base student cost would be $2,984 and would bring an additional $10 million to the Rock Hill district.
The tax increase “helps to bridge the gap and meet the needs of our students,” according to a statement from the district. The Rock Hill school district says it has not requested a tax increase in two years.
Rock Hill’s budget includes salary step increases and eliminates a 15 percent salary reduction for retired teachers who still serve in the district. Rock Hill is the only district that reduces retiree salaries by 15 percent.
“By eliminating the retiree salary reduction, the district believes it will be able to better retain employees,” the statement says.
Additional positions added to the budget include six full-time employees for the three high schools to meet growth, four new immersion and inquiry program positions, four new teachers and the conversion of two part-time occupational therapist positions to full-time due to state requirements.
The Rock Hill school board will meet at 6 p.m. on June 26 in the Rawlinson Road Middle School auditorium, located at 2631 W Main Street.
The Clover school district is proposing a property tax increase to help fund its $80 million budget.
The budget includes salary step increases for eligible employees, supplies, utilities and security costs, said Ken Love, assistant superintendent for business services.
If approved, the tax increase would amount to $36 more in taxes each year on a $100,000 business, non-owner occupied home or rental property, said Bryan Dillon, public information officer.
The Clover school board is set to approve the budget on June 26 during the school board meeting, Dillon said. Meetings are held at 7 p.m. at the district administration building, located at 604 Bethel Street in Clover.