Increasing school tax is on table

  • Follow Metro

Richmond County school board members could vote to raise taxes when they hold a special called meeting today.

Superintendent Dana Bedden said Wednesday afternoon that numbers are still being crunched and no specific recommendation had been determined, but a small increase is needed to fund the budget approved last month.

The board must also prepare for the possibility of even more state funding cuts, which could come with growing talk of a special session of the General Assembly, Dr. Bedden said.

Last year, the school board raised the millage to the cap, but the cap is calculated each year based on growth in the tax digest. The digest shrank this year, which means the cap went up.

"People forget that we pay higher prices for gas and food, too," Dr. Bedden said, adding that Richmond County isn't paying for most of the cost to educate children. "As long as we're depending on the state and federal government, we're going to have problems."

But a tax increase could prove difficult.

"It's going to be hard to get it passed by me," said Frank Dolan, the chairman of the board's finance committee. "I'm going to vote against it. I'm going to campaign against it between then and now."

Mr. Dolan said he doesn't support raising taxes a penny.

Board Vice President Alex Howard is also opposed.

"In this environment, taxpayers are having a hard enough time as it is," Mr. Howard said. "This is not the time or place to be raising people's taxes."

Board member Venus Cain said she is hesitant to take a position before getting all the information, but she also opposes higher taxes.

"It's going to be hard pressed for me to push for a tax increase. Times are bad," Mrs. Cain said. "Do you give adults what they want and shortchange the kids, or do you give the kids what they want and shortchange the adults?"

The board will meet at 3 p.m. today at its central offices, 864 Broad St. The meeting is open to the public.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

SCHOOL MILLAGE

Richmond County -- 19.342

Columbia County -- 17.09

Comments (23) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Craig Spinks
818
Points
Craig Spinks 07/16/09 - 02:33 am
0
0
Increase taxes, reduce

Increase taxes, reduce positions and a plethora of combinations involving these first two options are the choices facing the RCBOE. With one employee for every 6 students and 85% of the budget going to employee compensation, RCBOE members face potentially heroic employment decisions.

enana031
0
Points
enana031 07/16/09 - 04:24 am
0
0
God bless those of you

God bless those of you willing to try to find alternatives other than raising taxes at a time when the citizens of Richmond County are jobless, being furloughed, have not had raises in two or more years and struggle with daily living expenses. Stop placing the entire burden on the tax payer and look at slicing the budget elsewhere.

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 07/16/09 - 05:25 am
0
0
i suggest paring down the

i suggest paring down the bloated sports departments.. i realize they are good for character development, and probably help keep the childhood obesity rate under 70%.. but still.. ya gotta start somewhere

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 07/16/09 - 06:32 am
0
0
hey ms. cain heres a thought,

hey ms. cain heres a thought, why not suspend all extra-currecular activities in addition, get rid of all the "dead-weight" students, those who are trouble-makers, disruptive and disrespectful and closed down about 2-3 high schools due to the reduced student population. an increased benefit would be having student who are there to learn which will translate into higher crct test scores and maybe at least one "non-magnate" high school will meet ayp....

justthefacts
25506
Points
justthefacts 07/16/09 - 06:42 am
0
0
Better keep in mind before

Better keep in mind before raising local taxes that fed taxes will be rising quickly over the next few yrs as well.

Venus
0
Points
Venus 07/16/09 - 07:06 am
0
0
jisomjr are you saying

jisomjr are you saying because they are trouble makers, disruptive and disrespectful they should not receive an education? What it someone said you don't follow all your car mechanic recommendations therefore you shouldn’t receive any service! See its people like you who are sick and really need some help. Many people who had trouble childhoods became successful in life because someone believed in them and help them along the way. Why don’t you lend a hand and help instead of the criticism. Remember you had opportunities as a child and made it, the next child wants the same opportunities.

Sports in RCS pretty much pays its own way. Plus it’s also a way for children to earn scholarship to college. You know all the college football and basketball you watch! Hummmmmmm what would you do with yourself if you didn’t have college ball to watch or talk about. What happen if sports were eliminated in high school what would happen to Georgia Bull Dogs and all you season ticket holders? What would you talk about Monday morning at work? You would be SICK at the thought then complaint we don’t have college or pro teams because we cut out sports in high school.

justthefacts
25506
Points
justthefacts 07/16/09 - 07:18 am
0
0
flowers, first, I would hate

flowers, first, I would hate to see hs sports eliminated, but, if they were, we would still have team sports. They would be paid for by the parents of those kids who play.

Venus
0
Points
Venus 07/16/09 - 07:23 am
0
0
justthefact when colleges are

justthefact when colleges are looking for players they look at high schools not recreation parks! Can you name one child in the United States who played golf, football or basketball at a park who received a free ride to college then an opportunity for pro sports??

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 07/16/09 - 07:43 am
0
0
jisomjr, No Child Left Behind
Unpublished

jisomjr, No Child Left Behind is designed to help keep those children who do nothing IN school. I'm still not sure if it is a good system. They're either gonna be in the schools causing trouble or in the neighborhood causing trouble, either way the taxpayers are supporting them.

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 07/16/09 - 07:45 am
0
0
Taxes! Is that the only thing
Unpublished

Taxes! Is that the only thing Richmond County Commissioners and Board Members talk about these days? Taxes? Why can't our elected officials come up with real solutions? It seems every time there's a problem they want to raise taxes. Taxes in Richmond County are already higher than ALL of the surrounding counties and for what? So the symphony can get a new theater? So the schools can not make AYP? We need new people to run this town.

mad_max
1
Points
mad_max 07/16/09 - 08:18 am
0
0
This has nothing to do with

This has nothing to do with "shortchanging" students. This has everything to do with maintaining jobs and status quo for the teachers and administrators. They do not want to reduce the size of their little kingdom. The taxes in this county are already horrendous and we get damned little for it. If anyone is getting shortchanged in the system it is the taxpayer. We pay and get nothing but uneducated little heathens coming out the other end. Part of that is because of the unqualified staff we are paying, the unqualifed administrators we are paying, and the incompetent schoold board. There is a reason for all of this and we know what it is. Funny, as soon as the commissioners decide not to raise the millage rate the school board jumps on the chance to raise school taxes. This system needs to change and the school board needs to be completely turned over during the next elections. Geez, I wonder what we could do to become more like North Augusta. I think I know what that is but apparently our demographics lean more to the TAX and WASTE population. Richmond County......high taxes and one of the worst school systems and worst county commission in the country. Tax digest down..taxes up.

mad_max
1
Points
mad_max 07/16/09 - 08:34 am
0
0
Tax digest down....taxes up.

Tax digest down....taxes up. Tax digest down because the economy sucks, and people are hurting. Sounds like a great time to raise school taxes and hurt the property owners more doesn't it? There is plenty of waste in the school system that could be cut. Maybe we should not be building huge new schools in areas where there is ZERO population growth. Maybe we are doing these things because our school board is totally incompetent and they do pee poor planning. I guess they can't change the incompetent unqualifed teachers and administrators so they think a shiney new school will make things better. Typical "all that glitters is gold" thinking. Maybe Beden would be more productive if he actually got on that new tractor and cut some grass instead of making his little PR photo op sitting on his new tractor like it was a new Cadillac. We pay W-A-A-A-Y too much school tax now and we pay W-A-A-Y too much county taxes now. WE SHOULD BE North Augusta based on the amount of taxes we pay. But we are handicapped and destined to be the blight on the bottom of the tomato. Why? Well it ain't because we aren't paying to be first class. We paid but "we was robbed".

class1
300
Points
class1 07/16/09 - 08:35 am
0
0
Maybe the board should

Maybe the board should consider an activity fee for playing sports to help raise some money and offset the expenses of the sport's programs in Richmond County.

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 07/16/09 - 08:43 am
0
0
is there really one employee

is there really one employee per 6 children?

justthefacts
25506
Points
justthefacts 07/16/09 - 09:12 am
0
0
flowers, if HS team sports

flowers, if HS team sports were eliminated, what choice would Colleges have? For your second question, there are a ton of Latin American professional baseball players who never played HS or college ball. Same with the Europeans who are being signed to the NBA.

ladyjanegrey
0
Points
ladyjanegrey 07/16/09 - 09:56 am
0
0
Don't you love how they throw

Don't you love how they throw this out on the same day they are praising themselves on a rise in graduates?...Some more of that PR they are paying for.

ladyjanegrey
0
Points
ladyjanegrey 07/16/09 - 09:59 am
0
0
And flowers how about a "free

And flowers how about a "free ride" using their brains?..There are many scholarships out there that do not have anything to do with sports.....imagine that?

disssman
6
Points
disssman 07/16/09 - 10:38 am
0
0
Flowers, if sportss had been

Flowers, if sportss had been stopped when you were in school, you may have wound up being able to put together a ten word sentence xorrectly. Alas, I can tell by your post you not only have trouble with the english language you are not very informed of the cost to taxpayers for sports programs. I for one would much rather have a child that was smart in the ways of the world, rather than one that was a very good punter.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 07/16/09 - 10:47 am
0
0
When we pay the top 10% of

When we pay the top 10% of all teachers over 120,000 dollars (with benefits) a year and they have the same job description and responsibilities as a 40,000 dollar a year teacher, we are in trouble. I always thought that with pay raises came more responsibility, but that dosen't apply to the school system. In fact just the opposite is what is practised. If you doubt that, just look at the teacher of the year candidates and you will be hard pressed to find one in the top ten percent of the salary range.

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 07/16/09 - 02:28 pm
0
0
max i would stop short of

max i would stop short of blaming the teacher, although there are some who shouldn't be in the profession, most re dedicated but each school year they are the front line that are always sent into a "gunfight" with a pocket knife. they can't enforce discipline in the classroom w/out offending little "Lysterine or K'wawn", the one factor you left out are the sorry, good-for-nothing partent(s) who are more concerned about making sure their children are dressed like thugs than are prepared to learn and get an education

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 07/16/09 - 02:34 pm
0
0
flowers, as a black man i can

flowers, as a black man i can tell you there is a crisis in education wihton the black communities, there should be an environment conducive to the learning experience so those children (and parents) who truly want a QUALITY education should be able to get one without having to worry if the child will be force to "dumb down" in order to not get rediculed or attacked. schools are for education and those who are there for anything else should be sent back to the home from which they came, the poor property owner is getting squeezed from both ends and it is not fair to them...by the way flowers in case you don't know...richmond county has the 6th highest precentage of black males who don't graduation in the entire country, a higher precentage than the entire school dist of detroit michigan, but i guess as long as there is football every friday for your amusement then the "hell" with educating the children

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 07/16/09 - 02:38 pm
0
0
cracker if i had my choice

cracker if i had my choice then let my taxes go towards BUILDING BIGGER PRISONS AND JAILS!!!! that way there can be bond issues and an increasing the sales taxes to build them instead of wasting precious property tax dollars and they end up in jail any way,,,schools are not meant to be baby sitting academies

WHEUBANKS
1
Points
WHEUBANKS 07/16/09 - 03:45 pm
0
0
Diss, for the second time in

Diss, for the second time in the last two days you have stated thet the top 10% of teachers make 120k. Recently the AC had a link to the salaries of all RCBOE employees. Find me 10 (not 10%) classroom teachers making near that amount with or without benefits.

Just the Facts Please
0
Points
Just the Facts Please 07/16/09 - 04:11 pm
0
0
Why are there more holes in

Why are there more holes in the budget? They are cutting more than $750 from every one. To be exact teachers will lose four days pay and still be forced to work the same amount of time. So Dr. Bedden and his fellows want to take more from teachers and students? Cutting pay, cutting staff, and I don't see Dr. Bedden taking a pay cut. Didn't he hire out the James Brown Arena and hire a speaker to come and blow smoke to the employees again? What's that costing the taxpayers? Better yet how many teachers and staff had to give up their 4days of pay without their consent so that they could do this superfluous act? Teachers in this state need a union to look out for them. They need to organize because this level of greed (where the superintendent gets 230K a year) needs to be checked. Tell me why teachers (most of whom went to school or had to go take classes to get certified) need an instructional coach? Why do our kids need graduation coaches? I thought guidance counselors were vetted to help kids graduate.

Just the Facts Please
0
Points
Just the Facts Please 07/16/09 - 04:23 pm
0
0
The top earning teachers in

The top earning teachers in education are the head football coaches with advanced degrees and those that have doctorates. No one with that description comes close to 76-85 k....Only administrators earn 87-106k in Richmond County...not 120k

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

December pet adoptions fall at Augusta shelter

After peaking at 120 adoptions in 2011, December has fallen from its spot as the most popular pet adoption month at Augusta Animal Services.
Search Augusta jobs