Three-cent decrease in Indian River School District’s 2018-19 tax rate

GEORGETOWN – For the average taxpayer, it could mean a Little Caesar’s “Extramostbestest” pizza or maybe a couple Starbucks’ coffees.

Tax bills arriving in the coming weeks will be slightly lower for property owners in the Indian River School District, thanks to a drop in the district’s tuition tax.

Indian River School District’s board of education Monday night approved a three-cent reduction in the district’s overall tax rate for fiscal year 2018-19 that begins July 1.

The reduction from $3.097 to $3.067 per $100 of assessed value was spurred by a four-cent decrease in tuition tax, which decreased from .52 to .48.

The district’s minor cap rate increased just over a penny, from .033 to .045 due to an increase in state funding that requires a district match in the 60/40 state/local ratio.

Governor John Carney has proposed an additional $4.1 million statewide for the minor cap fund, said IRSD Director of Business Jan Steele in her finance presentation to the board of education.

“So that is an additional $478,000 that the district will get this year (FY19), along with the $1.2 million that had already been budgeted,” Ms. Steele said.

The IRSD’s current expense tax rate of $2.35 remains unchanged. Debt service, which is based on payment liability on bonds for past building projects, decreased fractionally by .002 cents.

Given all of that, Ms. Steele’s recommendation to the board was “that we decrease our tax rate by three cents.”

It won unanimous school board approval, 9-0. One board member was absent.

IRSD board of education president Charles Bireley wanted to make sure the press got the lower tax rate scoop.

“Three cents difference,” said Mr. Bireley. “Two newspaper people are here. I want you to give that to them.”

For owners of large properties, the tax rate decrease could be noticeable.

For the average taxpayer, the tax bill will go down “about $6” for FY18-19, Ms. Steele said.

Tax bills typically are mailed out at the end of July or beginning of August.

The district must have the new rates to the Sussex County tax office by the second Thursday in July, Ms. Steele.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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