Volusia County School Board Approves Budget, Lower Tax Rate


DeLand, FL – Volusia County property owners could pay less taxes for schools starting this coming fiscal year.
By unanimous vote, the Volusia County School Board approved a millage rate of $7.36 cents per $1,000 dollars of taxable property value, which is 6.7 percent lower than it was during the last fiscal year.
The drop comes as state officials – the people mostly responsible for the millage rate – decreed that Volusia County Schools had to drop their millage from $7.88.
The $7.36 that was passed was the most they were allowed to charge under state law, but school officials believe they won’t lose any money on the rate change since the county in general is getting higher property value assessments.
The V.C.S.B. also passed the tentative budget of $749.5 million dollars by a 4-1 margin, with only District 4 member Linda Costello in opposition.
Costello said she personally was fine with the numbers, but felt the process needed to be more transparent, especially with the budget crisis the school system faced going into the coming fiscal year.
“[In] the same way that we saved whatever we saved for custodial services and lawn maintenance, I just think we needed to use that same process for other departments,” Costello said. “We didn’t really use as much fiduciary responsibility as we could have.”
Her comments drew the ire of fellow members Candace Lankford and Stan Schmidt, the former saying she was “shell-shocked” that Costello would agree on the millage but not on the budget.
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