School board sales tax returns decrease
By: JEAN L. KAESS
CENTERVILLE — April sales tax collections were 9 percent below the same month a year ago.
The St. Mary Parish School Board’s collections reversed a three-month trend of positive collections, placing the year-to-date collections at five percent below actual collections between July 2010 and April 2011.
In real dollars, that’s almost $1 million less that was collected this fiscal year than the preceding one.
In other financial matters, the board approved various requests from the three maintenance districts:
—District I (Franklin area) released its share of money designated for addressing Department of Health and Hospital cafeteria findings. Their amount is $63,500. This district also requested to advertise the sale of a surplus portable building located at West St. Mary High School.
—District II (Berwick-Bayou Vista) released DHH cafeteria money in the amount of $79,300. Also, the committee voted to begin loan payments to the general fund for a recent construction loan. The annual payment is $249,000.
—District III (Morgan City area) released DHH cafeteria money amounting to $56,600; recommended transfer of $1.7 million from maintenance funds to the capital project fund for the upcoming fiscal year; and agreed to sell property adjacent to the Materiel and Operations Center in Morgan City as requested by members of the community.
A budget workshop to determine funding for fiscal year 2012-13 — including discussion of an anticipated $500,000 budget shortfall — will be held June 12 at 5 p.m.
Also discussed Thursday was an increase in school lunch prices for next school year.
Students paying full price will pay 10 cents more for lunch, or $1.45 for each elementary lunch and $1.70 for each junior and high school lunch. Breakfast prices remain the same as do reduced price lunches.
In St. Mary Parish, 73 percent of students receive free lunch.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires school food authorities to provide the same level of support for lunches served to students who are not eligible for free or reduced price lunches as they are for lunches served to students eligible for free lunches. However, they are only allowed to increase the amount charged by 10 cents annually.
Currently, the national reimbursement rate for free lunches is $2.46, a full dollar more than families will be charged next year for elementary lunches.