“We are approaching the time when we have to set the school tax rates,” Croce said. “I wanted to provide the board some information as a quick reminder of what goes into setting the major tax rate components with a presentation in June with hopes of setting the tax rate at our reorganization meeting in July.”
Croce explained that school tax is made up of four major components: Current Expense, Debt Service, Match Tax, Tuition and Capitation. According to Croce, Current Expense tax is set by referendum with the current rate set on October 6, 2015.
“This tax rate provides revenue to cover operating costs, such as teaching materials, textbooks, technology, insurance, athletic and academic programs and our local salary expenditures,” Croce explained. “That will remain unchanged until we have another operating referendum that is approved by the voters.”
Debt Service provide revenue to pay principal and interest payments on bonds used for construction, additions and renovations, as well as major capital improvements. This rate is also set by referendum.
“We do experience a natural decline of debt service each year,” Croce said. “There will be a slight decrease this year as those bond payments are paid down. As for the Match Tax component, we have talked about this for many years. There are a number of Match Tax options available, including for reading specialists, math specialists, technology and extra time. They have also added one for opportunity funding in recent years. Currently, Milford only assesses the Minor Capital Improvement Match Tax which allows the state to provide 60 percent of the funding for repairs and maintenance throughout the district.”
The Tuition tax rate covers the cost of students with special needs who require special services both in and out of the district. If a child must attend a special school outside of Milford School District, that school may charge Milford tuition for attendance. This tax is used to cover those expenses.
“Match tax and Tuition tax are set by the board each year,” Croce said. “We don’t expect any major changes in any of the four components this year other than a slight decline in Debt Service. The final thing to mention is that, in the past, there was a Capitation tax levied for anyone living in the district over the age of 18. We do not assess that any longer.
The proposed tax rate for FY2021-22 will be up for discussion at the next school board meeting scheduled for June 21, 2021.
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