Burke won’t indicate decision on school budget vote

District proposes to double tax increase in next budget
Burke won’t indicate decision on school budget vote

The Madison Metropolitan School District has proposed to double a tax increase in its next budget.

School board member and gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke signaled Tuesday that she may not support the spending plan.

The school board was presented the amended budget with the larger tax increase at a meeting Monday night. It increases the tax levy from 2 percent to 4.2 percent because of lower-than-expected state aid numbers announced last week.

The levy increase combined with an increase in home values means property taxes would go up about a $100 for the average homeowner.

Burke said Tuesday she had questions about a tax increase before casting her vote.

“We did have a preliminary budget earlier that had a similar type of tax increase and I voted against it because I thought that it wasn’t being as responsible as we need to be to the taxpayers in Madison,” Burke said. “Certainly that issue will come up, and I believe it is Monday night we will vote on that.”

Madison Superintendent Jen Cheatham called the reworked budget responsible, saying it had no fluff.

“I think the school board mainly will be very supportive of the budget, ” Cheatham said. “That said, and this is important for them, they have from the very start wanted us to be very fiscally responsible and attentive to the burden on taxpayers.”

Burke would not commit to how she’ll vote on the budget, telling reporters, “You’ll have to wait and see on Monday.”

News 3 couldn’t get commitments from any other board members on the plan, either.

The board will hold a public hearing and final vote on the budget plan Monday at 5 p.m.