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by Patty Cheffey
The Palmyra R-I Board of Education set the tax rate for the 2023-24 school year at the same rate as last year’s, but with a little modification.
A total tax rate of $4.0280 per $100 assessed valuation was approved with $3.3550 for the incidental fund and $0.6730 for the debt service fund.
The 2022-23 school year incidental fund was $3.3480 and the debt service was $0.6800.
At $3.3550, the district is anticipating bringing in $5,745,735 for the incidental fund and $1,152,572 for the debt service fund, for a total revenue of $6,898,307
Total new revenue in the operating funds is expected to be $359,054, while new revenue from construction and improvements is $245,292. New revenue from reassessment is $113,762.
According to Superintendent Jason Harper, this overall tax rate has been the rate since the 2013-14 school year.
“The district took a voluntary rollback of $.2242 in the 2022-2023 school year, and that remained in place for the upcoming 23-24 school year,” he said. “That rollback has saved the taxpayers well over $300,000 each of these two years.”
In other business, the board approved an energy savings contract with Veregy to install new HVAC equipment at both Palmyra Elementary and Palmyra High School in the summer of 2024, at a cost of $1,796,699.
“The HVAC at the high school and middle school have lasted well past their projected lifespan,” said Harper. “The majority of those units are over 20 years old, and we have had trouble keeping them running efficiently over the past two years.
“District reserves have grown from federal relief funds related to the pandemic, and this project will put the district in a great position moving forward in relation to its HVAC needs,” he added.
After the project is finished HVAC at all three buildings will be less than six years old.
“The district has many physical needs, but heating and cooling systems are vital in creating a quality classroom environment for learning, and critical for the safety of students and teachers,” Harper added.
During the meeting, the board also approved Joyce Brough as a 25-hour Parents as Teachers educator and approved additions to the substitute list.