Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

October 9, 2012

Taxes about the same to support schools

Debbie Blank
The Herald-Tribune

— Property owners will pay about the same taxes to support the 2013 Batesville Community School Corp. budget, superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts told trustees Sept. 17.

The proposed total is $20.1 million, up $573,000 or 2.9 percent from this year’s $19.5 million.

The advertised tax rate, an estimated maximum, is usually “quite a bit more than actual rate.”

For instance, the rate of 90 cents per $100 assessed valuation advertised in 2012 actually became 73 cents. He predicted the 2013 rate of 93 cents would end up between 68-73 cents, just like the last few years.

Noting BCSC is ranked a Best Buy by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, he compared the 2012 local school tax rate with other surrounding districts: Decatur County, .5; Jac-Cen-Del, .7; BCSC, .73; Franklin County, .80; Greensburg, .85; South Ripley, 1.03; Milan, 1.05; and Sunman-Dearborn, 1.23.

According to the administrator, BCSC’s net assessed valuation history “has been positive,” going from $660 million in 2010 to $665 million in 2011 to $662 million in 2012. “Our belief is we’ll stay around that amount.” A high valuation “is a benefit to our taxpayers,” who end up paying less per household.

At the required budget hearing, when no citizens spoke, Roberts detailed the projected 2013 amounts needed in five funds that are tax supported:

l General Fund, $13.3 million, a 5.7 percent increase, partly due to full-day kindergarten. Some of the revenue comes from a state grant. BCSC will benefit because it has more students and gets more dollars for each one.

l Capital Projects Fund, $3.3 million, a 5.8 percent decrease. The fund pays for  equipment; technology, such as the 1:1 computer initiative at Batesville High School; outsourced services; and a portion of utilities and insurance.

l Debt Service Fund, $1.7 million, a 3.5 percent increase. Money from this fund began paying for Batesville Intermediate School and BHS building projects in 2012 and includes the $1.07 million Ivy Tech Community College investment.

l Transportation Fund, $1.6 million, same as 2012. School bus gas, maintenance and salaries come from this fund.

l School Bus Replacement Fund, $204,000, down from this year’s $217,000. Three vehicles will be purchased: an 84-passenger bus and a 15-passenger activity bus to replace old ones and a 66-passenger bus to use as a spare.

Trustees passed the budget, prepared by Roberts, buildings and grounds director Tim Hunter and treasurer Todd Nobbe, on its first reading. It is scheduled to be formally adopted Oct. 15.

Debbie Blank can be contacted at 812-934-4343, Ext. 113; or debbie.blank@ batesvilleheraldtribune.com.