FLORENCE, S.C. — Florence One Schools Superintendent Richard O'Malley couldn't help but smile under his face mask as he spoke with the Florence One Board of Trustees about the district's 2020-21 budget.
O'Malley said later by email that this was his third budget as district superintendent and that the budget would be the third consecutive budget that would not have a millage increase built in.
The budget calls for the district to receive revenues of $157.5 million.
The district receives its revenues from three major sources: local taxes at $78 million, state funds of $75 million, and other sources, primarily transfers from other funds, of $4.5 million.
The local taxes are derived from real property at 47.7% of the total, tier three property tax relief at 22.2%, vehicle taxes at 11.5%, taxes from fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreements at 6.3%, local property tax relief at 5.4%, homestead exemptions of 2%, delinquent taxes of 1.9%, manufacturing depreciation reimbursements of 1.6%, and several other areas below 1%.
The projected revenues are $3.6 million higher than the previous year.
The revenues increased in 2020-21 due to carryovers from four funds at $2.6 million, an increase in state revenues of $2.1 million, and an increase in tax revenues of $786,000, and a decrease of $1.8 million in transfers from other funds.
State law mandates that governmental entities have balanced budgets, thus the district's expenditures are also $157.5 million.
Those expenditures are broken down into categories of personnel services of $137 million — 86.9% of the budget — contracted services of $5.5 million, utilities of $3.6 million, technology of $2.4 million, school supplies of $2.5 million, repairs and maintenance of $2.1 million, and other transfers and supplies of $4.4 million.
The budgeted total is an increase of $12.9 million over O'Malley's first budget in 2018-2019 according to a sheet provided to the board of trustees.
This increase is due to a $16.1 million increase in personnel costs including a change in how therapists are funded at $6 million, a 5% pay raise for district workers in 2019-20 at $6 million, a 1% pay raise in 2020-21 at $1.3 million, and the addition of 18 new positions mostly due to John W. Moore Intermediate becoming a middle school.
A portion of the increase is offset by a $3.2 million decrease that includes school supplies at $1 million less, $900 less in transfers to other funds, a $700 decrease in contract services, a repair and maintenance decrease of $400,000, and decrease of other expenses at $200,000.
The board of trustees approved the budget upon first reading at a meeting on Oct. 8. It will likely consider second and final reading of the budget at its Oct. 22 meeting.
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