BONIFAY — The Holmes County District School Board approved a resolution to adopt the tentative millage rate for 2013-14 during their special session held on July 29.
The resolution will increase the millage by 1.5 mills for a total of 7.396.
“It was successfully advertised in the local newspapers and the reason why we had to advertise is because the total millage rate exceeds the roll-back rate by 20.26 percent,” explained Board Finance Officer Larry Hawkins. “The only reason it is such a significant increase is primarily due to the new schools being built, otherwise it would’ve actually reduced.”
During the public hearing, resident Tony Bess addressed the board.
“I’m Holmes County, born and raised and so are my children,” said Bess. “The only problem I see with this is that only about 30 to 40 percent of those living in Holmes County actually pay this tax because the rest are exempt in one way or another. Isn’t there a sales tax or something that could make this more fair?”
Superintendent Eddie Dixon said that the law requires there be a 1.5 millage rate for the next three years dedicated towards the project.
“Even if we had the money they’d still want that millage rate as a show of good faith that this is what the community wants,” said Dixon. “We’ve looked into other avenues like the sales tax, however Holmes County doesn’t generate enough revenue to satisfy that three percent requirement — not in three years.”
The next Holmes County District School Board meeting is set for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6.