During the last two weeks Middlesboro Independent School Board members have been surveying community members about setting the tax rate for the 2012-2013 school year, according to Dr. Rita Cook, superintendent.
The district already has the authority to raise real estate and personal property taxes by 4 percent.
Cook said, “the board voted to lower tax rates from last year by decreasing real estate tax by 2 percent and personal property tax by 4 percent.”
The tax rate for both were set by the board at 48.5 percent. Board members voting for a decrease in the tax rate were Bill Johnson, Eddie Kelly, Kelly Shoffner, Vicki Byrne and Kenny Pratt.
Board Chair, Bill Johnson, explained, “We know that our community is still reeling from the economic downturn. We have families and businesses that are struggling. For that reason, the board has decided to keep the same tax rate as last year. Our schools will just tighten their budgets, like everyone else, to get through these difficult times.”
Johnson went on to say that several people have asked him if the district has a re-callable nickel in place. His response was, “Middlesboro Independent does not now nor has it ever had a re-callable nickel.”
Cook says, despite the tight budget of the district, it has been able to start new programs through partnerships with the community.
A tour of MMS as well as the new eighth grade “Project Lead the Way” classroom was conducted during Tuesday’s board meeting.
Project Lead the Way is the state of the art science classroom that is being funded through the Middlesboro Education Foundation.
Eighth grade science teacher Georgina Anderson added that the science department is also getting ready to get a greenhouse because of a grant from Lowe’s Home Improvement.
Cook ended by stating, “We continue to be appreciative of all the support of our community.”
Chase Smith is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 606-248-1010 Ext. 204.