Columbia school board to approve tax levy

The Columbia Board of Education approved a preliminary 2013 tax levy at its Nov. 20 meeting.

The levy will be officially approved at the Dec. 19 board meeting, but Superintendent Gina Segobiano addressed the plan for the district to levy at a rate of 4.6 percent more than the prior year’s extension.

“This is an opportunity to provide our estimation a month early in case the public wants to meet with me or raise any questions,” Segobiano said.

Local tax payers fund more than 80 percent of the school district’s budget.

In past years, the equalized assessed valuation of the district has decreased, and this year will be the same.

“The problems that we face are with trying to keep up with our bonds and interest schedule and callable bonds,” she said. “It’s tough and it’s driven our tax rate up about 20 cents over a three-year period.”

The board plans to approve the levy at next month’s meeting.

Also at the BOE meeting:

•Kelton Davis, the regional superintendent, presented some information at the beginning of the meeting regarding his position as regional superintendent.

•A $50,000 matching maintenance grant application was approved.

•Segobiano recognized the district for receiving the Bright Star Award of Excellence for the third year in a row.

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