Commissioners approve funding formula

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 2, 2004

JACKSON – As a result of Commissioner approval, a proposed funding formula will allow Northampton County Public Schools to rely on the same percentage of cash inflow it had the previous year to cover both its current expense and capital outlay.

The formula, which appropriates 37.3 percent of each ad valorem tax dollar generated as a result of growth, will allow the school system to do short and long range financial planning making it easier for the Working Group to avoid unnecessary tension and stress between the boards while still accomplishing its goal of ensuring appropriate funding is available.

According to information provided by Northampton County Manager Wayne Jenkins, the County/School Working Group held a meeting October 7 in which its members discussed and approved the formula, which was subsequently approved by the Board of Education.

&uot;A lot of work went into this,&uot; said Jenkins. &uot;It was not an easy decision especially considering that fifty cents of ad valorem taxes was previously on the table.&uot;

Of the 37.3 percent base amount, which is approximately $3,625,500, $3,180,500 would be designated towards paying current expenses while $445,000 would be appropriated for capital outlay for the year.

&uot;When the county grows our revenue grows,&uot; said Jenkins. &uot;Ideally, as the total tax base of the county increases, we’d like to see the yearly appropriation to the school system increase proportionately.&uot;

Jenkins also cited the example that for every $1,000,000 of value added to the tax base, based on the current 88-cent tax rate an additional $3,282 would be generated and used in appropriation to the school system.

&uot;I want to commend the collective efforts of Mr. Jenkins, Vice Chair Robert Carter, Commissioner Jennings White and Finance Officer Dot Vick for creating a working relationship that is a tremendous asset to the community,&uot; said Chairwoman Virginia Spruill.

Commissioners agreed that the funding formula would be reviewed annually for potential increases and decreases.