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Monday, Dec 18, 2017
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Hillsborough School Board approves 2017-18 budget

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School Board on Tuesday approved a budget of $2.83 billion for the 2017-18 school year.

Property taxes for schools will be $6.60 per $1,000 of assessed value. For a house valued at $125,000, with a $25,000 homestead exemption, the homeowner will pay $659.60, down from $690.60 the previous year.

The district, the largest employer in the Tampa Bay area with a workforce of roughly 25,000, submitted a balanced budget, as required by law. But, as in prior years, expenditures will be greater than revenues, and the difference will be made up by transferring money between funds.

The main operating fund's reserve, which has been a special concern over the last two years, will decrease slightly to $140.7 million.

According to superintendent Jeff Eakins, the district has shed more than 700 jobs in the last year, including more than 200 teaching jobs. He predicted it will take another year of cost-cutting before he can say the district has a sound budgeting system.

However, long-term challenges include the need for more than $1 billion in new school construction, mostly in southeast Hillsborough.

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