Record low school tax rate approved

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The St. Johns County School Board officially approved the district tax rate during a special meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13, the second of two public hearings on the budget proposal for FY 2022-23.

The rate, unanimously approved, will mark a historic low of $5.48 per $1,000 of a property’s assessed taxable value. That represents a 33-cent reduction from last year’s rate.

The rate is the sum of three parts: required local effort, basic discretionary and capital improvements. The last two have remained unchanged over the years at 75 cents and $1.50, respectively.

The required local effort is set by the state and is the largest portion of the tax rate. This is the amount that districts must turn over to the state for redistribution across Florida to ensure equitable financial support for the poorer districts. The county’s rate has been declining annually since 2011-12. This year, it is $3.24 per $1,000 of taxable value.

Though the tax rate has gone down, taxes are expected to bring in more revenue due to an increase in property values. Last year, the county’s taxable value stood at just over $37 billion. This year, it’s nearly $46 billion.

The full budget, also approved Sept. 13, is $1.2 billion.

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