Wichita School Board votes to request tax increase authority

February 12, 2019 - 2:18 am
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At Monday night's meeting Wichita School Board members voted to request that the State Board of Education grant them the authority to raise local tax rates.  Board members voted 6-1 in favor of the request. 

The idea was brought up by the district's chief financial officer, Susan Willis, during a budget presentation. Willis said the higher tax rate could be used to cover payroll and other fixed costs if the state legislature fails to provide additional state funding in its new budget.  Board member Mike Rodee says it's an option to help avoid cutting the budget.

"We're one of the few governing bodies that don't set our own budget, like the city and county," said Rodee.  "We get told what we are spending.  And this is the only part we get to have an option on, as far as income."

The board says they had to move quickly to vote on the measure in order to beat an April 1st deadline. If the state board approves the request, USD 259 would have the flexibility to raise the tax rate if it's necessary. 

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