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Expected Franklin Regional property tax hike now at 1.75 mills

| Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Franklin Regional officials have pared the district's anticipated tax-rate increase by almost half.

On Monday, officials said a 1.75-mill rate increase would balance the district's $49.6 million budget, If adopted this spring, the proposed increase would generate about $672,000 in revenue for the district.

Franklin Regional has a property tax rate of 87.68 mills. Officials have raised the tax rate in the district for 10 consecutive years. The proposed increase would raise taxes about $61 annually for the owner of the average home in the district, which carries a $35,000 assessment.

In February, officials supported a preliminary budget that projected a 3.33-mill rate increase. Finance director Jon Perry said officials were able to pare down the anticipated increase because of unexpected staff retirements and lower-than-anticipated insurance rates.

Seventeen teachers plan to retire following this school year. Superintendent Emery D'Arcangelo said the budget reflects plans to replace all 17.

The budget also reflects the use of about $270,000 from the district's reserve fund designated for retirement costs. Officials are slated to vote next week to move an additional $1.25 million into the fund, which the district began in 2008. It is designated to help provide tax relief when state mandated retirement contributions spike during the next several years.

Perry said the district will have about $3.84 million in the fund at the end of the school year.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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