Mayor Huttle Urges Englewood School Board to Exercise Restraint, Work Together to Reduce Max Tax Increase
Tonight the Englewood School Board will discuss its proposed budget for the coming year. I released the following statement this afternoon on the school budget.
Mayor Frank Huttle
Mayor Huttle Urges Englewood School Board to Exercise Restraint, Work Together to
Reduce Max Tax Increase
(ENGLEWOOD) – With the Englewood Board of Education set to propose a $71.3 million budget and $48.8 million tax levy tonight that would raise property taxes the maximum allowable amount under state law, Mayor Frank Huttle III urged the board’s members to exercise restraint and work together with city officials to reshape the fiscal plan to benefit students and taxpayers.
“Voting to increase the school budget to the maximum two percent allowed under the state’s property tax cap, especially during the first year that voters will not have a chance to weigh in on the budget in the years to come sends the wrong message,” said Huttle. “I think it would be wise to take a lesson from our recent past and sharpen our pencils and work together to formulate a budget that puts our kids first and maximizes every tax dollar spent, much like the hard work and cooperation that went into crafting the budget four years ago.”
Huttle noted that in 2010, the school board introduced a budget paid for by $48.1 million in taxes, which was a nearly five percent tax increase from the previous year. Voters went on to defeat the budget during the school board election. However, the Board of Education voted earlier this year to move elections to November, a change that could result in ongoing two percent increases because voters will no longer have the opportunity to vote on the budget unless it exceeds the two percent cap.
“After the budget defeat in 2010, I helped lead a committee that worked on reshaping the budget into a win-win for students, teachers and taxpayers. In the end, we were able to cut $1.6 million from the budget while increasing the dollars that were going directly towards classroom instruction. It wasn’t easy but together we achieved this win-win and put the school district on firmer footing,” added Huttle.
“Having spent over $23,000 per pupil in 2011-2012 – among the highest in the county and the state – it’s clear that pouring more money into any school system does not necessarily help solve the problems that we face. What will help address our problems is accountability. Whether it’s a mayor or a school board member, we all need to approach our budgets with accountability and responsibility to the taxpayers to make sure every penny is spent wisely,” concluded Huttle.
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