Fort Mill Times

Clover school board OKs new jobs, tax hike

The Clover School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $73 million budget that includes 10 new positions and an increase in property taxes.

Ken Love, assistant superintendent for business services, said with approval, budget changes still could come depending on the state budget and county tax reassessment, which still haven’t been set. The new school budget year begins July 1.

“This is based on best guess estimates,” Love said told the school board during the June 24 meeting.

Love said there were no changes to the 2015-16 budget that had been presented June 1 in a public hearing. At that meeting, several Clover school bus drivers pleaded for pay raises.

The budget, which includes five new teaching jobs and five slots for staff or teaching positions, also includes the maximum property tax increase for operating expenses under state law of 6 mills. Love said it can be adjusted in the fall when the county sets the tax levy.

The school budget change raises annual property taxes on a typical business or second home assessed at 6 percent of value by $36 for each $100,000 of assessed value.

The increase would not affect property taxes for owner-occupied homes, under South Carolina’s Act 388, which replaced homeowner property taxes for school operations with a penny sales tax.

About eight Clover school bus drivers pleaded June 1 for pay raises, saying they are “really struggling.” Driver Angelia Neely, who said she earns about $10 an hour and pays for her own health insurance, said drivers can earn more money in North Carolina.

Love said the budget does not include that pay raise.

“We are studying it and analyzing how we compare to other districts,” he said.

Superintendent Marc Sosne said it’s not just bus driver compensation that is being considered by the district.

“We are looking at all categories of employees and how we compare regionally,” Sosne said. “We are looking at similar data to deal with everybody, not just one group.”

Changes from the 2014-15 budget include $300,000 for five teachers and $300,000 for teaching assistants to maintain the student-teacher ratio, $550,000 for technology costs, $40,000 for supplies and materials for new students and $15,000 for new football helmets.

Love said during the June 1 meeting most of the budget increases go toward salaries and fringe benefits, which cost $58.4 million. Other major costs include $2.5 million for utilities, $3.9 million for technology, $1.2 million for substitute teachers and $1.2 million for maintenance contracts.

Budget numbers

estimated state revenue

EFA $10,045,077

Fringe 4,161,842

Retiree Insurance 1,731,614

Property Tax Reimbursment

Tier III 9,665,782

Homestead Exemption 575,000

Bus Drivers 265,000

Miscellaneous 20,000

Total State Revenue 28,120,299

local revenue

Frozen Amount 1,655,984

Local Taxes ‐ 6 mill increase 41,455,697

CW ‐ Taxes 3,388,391

Interest 30,000

Rent 15,000

Miscellaneous 10,000

Total Local Revenue 44,899,088

Total Estimated Revenue $ 73,019,387

estimated expenditures

Salaries & Fringe 58,460,414 $

Utilities 2,530,000

Technology ‐ Apple Lease, etc. 3,900,000

Insurance 465,000

Custodial & Maintenance Supplies 892,400

Maintenance Contracts 1,211,500

Substitutes 1,250,000

Copiers 203,000

Other Instructional Items 4,107,073

Total Estimated Expenditures $ 73,019,387

Changes from 2014‐2015

Supplies & Materials for New Students 40,000

Football Helmets 15,000

Staff for Student/Teacher Ratio 300,000

5 Teachers for Growth 300,000

Technology 550,000