Fee-in-lieu proposal withdrawn after meeting with school officials

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A change in the distribution of revenues produced by fee in lieu of taxes arrangements between the county and the county’s five school districts has been withdrawn by District Seven Councilwoman Cindy Wilson. The decision to withdraw the proposed change in the ordinance governing those funds means that the current arrangement, in which the schools receive more than seventy per cent of those funds will continue.

The proposal was the result of a miscommunication which led Wilson to the mistaken perception that the schools were receiving ninety nine per cent of the revenues, a figure which would clearly be unsustainable. Wilson proposed a three to five year experiment during which the county would receive as much as twenty five per cent, up from the fifteen per cent it receives under the current ordinance.

“We would have looked at the impact of the change over that three to five year period, and then made any necessary adjustments,” said Wilson. The ordinance was tabled at a recent council meeting where it was slated for first reading, and an ad hoc committee including Wilson was appointed to research the issue.

The committee met with school district representatives last Thursday (July 25) after which Wilson withdrew her proposal.

“It is clear to me that the schools need these funds to support their budgets,” Wilson said. “Most of our school districts have made great strides in reducing their spending, especially in District One, which has a reputation statewide for fiscal responsibility which also translates into academic achievement.”

“We had a very good meeting with the various district representatives and established lines of communication which I think will serve us well into the future.”

See Related Story – School official concerned about Fee-in-Lieu proposal