No tax rate increase for UMC, no proposed tax increase for LISD - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/10/09

No tax rate increase for UMC, no proposed tax increase for LISD

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By Katie Bauer - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - UMC went before the Lubbock County Commissioners on Monday hoping for approval of their 2010 budget and proposing not to increase taxes above the current rate.

At the Lubbock County Commissioner's meeting, University Medical Center proposed their 2010 budget, which also proposed not to increase taxes above the current rate. "We'll still maintain profitability at the hospital and we think given the current economic environment it's appropriate not to have a tax increase we'll do fine financially this year," said UMC CEO David Allison.

The county commissioners unanimously approved UMC's budget and the LISD budget will go before the school board this Thursday.

Lubbock Independent School District's budget is also in the works and on Thursday the current tax rate is expected to be approved. "This community is fortunate that we are not having to raise taxes, we haven't for many, many years, so the tax rate will remain the same in the district," said LISD Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza.  Garza is right in the middle of planning the next school year's budget.

On Thursday Garza says the proposed tax rate will not increase or decrease. It will stay the same. "What we are doing, we are doing the same thing that families are having to do, we are tightening our belts, and making sure that we are using tax payer dollars very effectively that we are leveraging those dollars around that we think are very important to our core mission teaching and learning," said Garza.

And Garza says investing in the teachers is one way to do that. "We are shooting for at least a 3% increase," said Garza.

Garza says the teachers deserve raises. Currently the starting teacher salary is $34,500. Garza hopes that amount is raised to at least $36,000, but would like to see $38,000 as the base salary.

Even with teacher raises Garza says the budget will be balanced. "We've cut and closed positions, and cut budgets, but we have not affected campus budgets our campus budgets will remain the same where we've largely ensured the cuts have been here at the central office level," said Garza.

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