School board to hold tax hearing

Christy Howell-Hoots - [email protected]

AUGUSTA — A public hearing regarding a proposed nickel tax for the Augusta School District will be held on Aug. 16.

Superintendent Lisa McCane said the district is considering taking the nickel tax in order to make several renovations to the Augusta Independent School building.

“Our District Facility Plan outlines the district’s capital construction priorities and the addition of a new auditorium, gymnasium, Family Resource and Youth Services Center and Administration offices are significant facility needs that without the nickel tax wouldn’t be feasible,” she said.

McCane said the addition of a nickel tax would mean little impact on the citizens of Augusta, because the tax would only raise the rates an additional one cent.

According to McCane, last year’s rate was 67.6 cents per $100 of assessed property value. The new tax rate would be 69.6 cents per $100 of assessed value for real estate, 69.6 cents per $100 for property and 57.6 cents per $100 for motor vehicles with a 3 cent utility tax.

Without the nickel tax, the rate would be 68.6 cents.

“A (4 percent) increase is 68.6 (cents) and the nickel levy requires a 1 cent increase over the (4 percent) thus the 69.6 (cent) proposed rate,” she said. “Basically, we can get an extra nickel with only having to increase the tax rate by 1 cent. The primary reason is due to the increase of property valuation from Berry Global and that brought down the overall tax rates.”

McCane said the money raised from the nickel tax would be restricted money and only allowed to be used for buildings.

According to McCane, the district currently has a bonding potential of $500,000-$800,000, but if the nickel tax passes, the bonding potential would be $2.5 million.

“The board is looking at doing this now because with Berry Global coming back on the tax rolls, it brought the rates down,”she said. “We’re talking one cent on every $100 of assessed value, so you’re talking about $10-15 more. That’s the financial impact it would have on the taxpayers. That’s why we’re capitalizing on this now.”

McCane said if a house is valued at $75,000, the rate would go up by $15.

The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. in the AIS library.

Christy Howell-Hoots

[email protected]