Thursday, April 30, 2015

CCSD's Never Seen a Tax Hike It Didn't Like

Acting Superintendent Michael Bobby believes that Charleston County taxpayers are so stupid that they've forgotten the promises the Charleston County School Board made during the not-a-penny one-percent sales tax extension campaign. You know, the one about no property-tax hikes.

Suddenly, Bobby believes CCSD's income from property taxes will not cover the growth of spending in the district.


His complaint is that the list of owner-occupied homes is growing too fast and taking away tax dollars from the district, which he predicts will have the highest number of students ever next year.

What's wrong with this picture?

  1. The predicted 50,000 students, "highest ever for Charleston County schools" is not, I repeat, not the highest number ever served by the county. Prior to consolidation, enrollment in total was well over that number.
  2. The district contributed to the problem two years ago when it made its "tax swap" that reduced taxes on owner-occupied homes.
  3. How much of the reduction in revenue has been created by tax-increment financing (TIF) districts agreed to in several areas of the county?
  4. "Extra" expenses enumerated by Bobby include a step-increase for teachers (hardly a surprise!), making Orange Grove into a K-8 school (aren't students pulled from other schools? Isn't one West Ashley middle school slated for closure?).
  5. What is the taxpayer to think of an extra $10 million for "fringe benefits and materials and supplies"? 
Really, what does the latter include--two IPAD's for each student?

Board members Garrett and Collins voiced skepticism over the need to raise property taxes and vowed to review ways to cut expenses. 

Let's hear from the rest of the School Board: Cindy Bohn Coats, Chris Staubes, Kate Darby, Tom Ducker, Eric Mack, Tripp Wiles, and Michael Miller.

Their email addresses and phone numbers are found at .

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