In passing the tentative 1998-99 budget, the Nebo School Board decided to decrease taxes and increase the number of teachers in the district by 26.

Projected to come in at $85.8 million, the budget will be about 8 million less than the 1997-98 version. "We're down a little from the year before," said Nebo business administrator Tracy Olsen.Olsen explained the smaller budget is partly a result of the district having completed new school construction and the fact it is not planning any capital projects for the coming year. In the past two years, the district's capital projects fund had reached $41 million.

The district chose not to raise taxes or take back savings from refunding a bond because, Olsen said, a new law mandates that residents must approve, by majority vote, any property tax hike by a tax-supported entity.

The State Tax Commission told district officials that receiving refunding monies ran counter to the intent of the law. "It's not a battle worth fighting," Olsen said. Consequently, the debt service levy will drop from .002236 to .002227.

Taxpayers may have to look hard to notice the decrease. The owner of a $100,000 home will only see a tax decrease of about 50 cents, Olsen said.

The board did authorize the issuing of $5 million of tax anticipation notes to allow the district to "get by until property tax money comes in," Olsen said.

The district, expecting a 1 percent climb in enrollment in 1998, will hire 26 new teachers in 1998, Olsen said. Thirteen of those teachers will be paid for by state class-size reduction monies, and payment for the other 13 will come from district funds.

About 85 percent of Nebo's budget goes to employee salaries. The district payroll will be $42,611,462 and another $15,590,515 will be spent on fringe benefits. The board also approved a 3 percent raise for employees.

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Additional Information

Budget - Nebo School District

Total budget: $85,875,431

1998-99

Total budget: $93,588,246

1997-98

Where it comes from:

State funds: $56,677,258

Last year: $54,634,475

Local taxes and fees: $ 8,766,592

Last year: $21,455,898

Federal funds: $ 3,028,855

Last year: $ 4,916,347

Where it goes:

Salaries: $42,611,462

Last year: $42,249,693

Benefits: $15,590,515

Last year: $15,111,866

Contracted services: $ 5,217,590

Last year: $ 2,317,041

Utilities: $ 2,140,100

Last year: $ 2,140,100

Teaching supplies: $ 1,825,325

Last year: $ 1,867,987

Text books: $ 358,275

Last year: $ 436,433

Equipment replacement: $ 158,971

Last year: $ 158,971