Sherman’s $14.6 million budget cuts tax rate for fourth straight year


SHERMAN — The city will see a lower tax rate again with the newly approved $14.6 million budget.

The 2022-23 combined city and schools budget increases spending by about $221,000, or 1.54%, from this fiscal year.

This includes approximately $5.3 million for the landside – an increase of approximately 6.1%; and about $9.2 million for the education component, a decrease of about 0.92%.

Voters approved the budget on April 30, with a 286-43 vote on the city side and a 231-98 vote on the school side.

The school budget is two-thirds of the total budget, and the city side is one-third of the total budget.

There is a decrease of 2.5% in the rate per thousand compared to the current year – from 18.64 to 18.18. A mill equals $1 in tax for every $1,000 of assessment.

“This is the fourth straight year we’ve cut taxes at Sherman,” first coach Don Lowe said.

The cumulative tax reduction over four years is 10.2%.

Lowe said the main force driving the drop in taxes is an increase in the large taxable list due to rising home values ​​and property transfers.

The Big List is around $744.9 million, an increase of around 4.3% from the current year’s Big List.

Notable increases in the budget relate to the voluntary fire department and the library.

“They were both necessary and justified raises,” Lowe said. “Each had been flat for several years and needed to add money to their budgets.”

About the library, there is an increase in staffing requirements.

The library got an increase of $17,000, or 10%, for its municipal grant, which totaled $187,200.

“A lot of it is due to the need for overtime for extra help,” Lowe said. “The library has become more and more vital in recent years. It has become a major resource in our city and our former executive director Ashley Blake was very, very efficient in running the library and delivering a plethora of popular programs there. She really elevated the library, especially there was a big push for adult programming.

Additionally, the Municipal Operating Expense Grant for the Sherman Volunteer Fire Department was increased from $28,500 to $150,495.

“It’s mainly for the increased contract fees, supplies, vehicle service and tuition for the increased number of classes they have to take,” Lowe said.

“Their budget had been stable for several years and it was only a step forward that became necessary.”

The city also saw a big increase in its building inspection line, by about 73% or about $63,000, “which is a big chunk of a budget like ours,” Lowe said.

However, he said the money is made up of direct revenue from construction fees.

“That counts as a budget increase, but it’s really not a budget increase because it’s triggered directly by revenue,” Lowe said. “He is (the building inspector) paid on a percentage of the amount of money that is brought in by his job, which includes the permits that are part of his job.”

Lowe said of the city’s five budgets since he was first elected, the city has always invested $500,000 in the capital fund in anticipation of capital needs.

The city’s budget surplus is $4.8 million and its non-recurring fund, as of July 1, will be $1.5 million.

School board budget

Highlights of the $9.2 million education budget include a 10% decrease in high school tuition of about $172,000 due to a smaller class entering high school.

Additionally, there is a savings of approximately $78,000 in special education tuition. This is due to the decrease in student needs and student enrolment.

Items that are increasing or being added to the budget include staff salaries and benefits, which represents an increase of approximately $215,000; and transportation, which is increased by $20,000.

Lowe said he credits the Board of Education for their work in keeping their budget flat and, for next year, running a negative budget.

“Credit must also be given to the school board for its prudent budgeting over the past five years,” Lowe said. “As the first selector, I am very grateful for the good work that the Board of Education has done in terms of budgets. We had disagreements from time to time on things, but overall we have to give credit where credit is due.


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