By Jeremy Handel, Staff Writer
Good news for Spartanburg County District 4 homeowners and businesses, property taxes are going down or remaining flat for the upcoming tax period, Superintendent Dr. W. Rallie Liston reported at the Oct. 5, 2020, Board of Trustees meeting.
Based on updated assessed values in the district, the property tax directed toward debt service will decrease by two mills for the upcoming tax period. The debt service property tax is assessed on both homeowners and businesses in the district. The reduction equates to approximately $8 per year on a $100,000 home.
Businesses are also assessed property tax for general operations, which will see a two mill increase for the coming year. However, with the reduction in debt service property tax, businesses in the district will have a net zero change to their upcoming taxes.
The Board also received updates and reports from the various schools and departments, including the announcement of another technology grant received by the district. Spartanburg Academic Movement awarded District 4 a $25,000 grant for the purchase of 105 additional Wi-Fi hotspots that can be checked out by any student who doesn’t have reliable internet access at their home. After the purchase, the district will have nearly 650 hot spots available.
According to Jennifer Turner, director of testing and accountability, the hot spots are a welcome addition to ensure that all students have access to reliable internet access. In addition, the Wi-Fi access points the district received through a grant last month have been installed and activated in the high school and middle school parking lots. The access points are active from 4 – 10 p.m. on Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. on the weekends.
Dr. Liston also provided an update regarding the return to five-day, in-person instruction for the 3, 4, and 5-year-old students, saying that the return has gone well and the district is excited to welcome back grades 1 – 5 for in-person instruction.
“It has gone perfect with the 3, 4, and 5-year-olds coming back,” Liston told The Woodruff Times. “They have done great and we have not had any problems.”
In other action, the Board approved the first reading of various policy changes, including policies relating to evaluation of instructional staff, remote instruction, student attendance, and service animals. The changes are part of normal annual review by the State of South Carolina Department of Education and will come back to Board for a final approval at a future meeting.
The board also approved a new District Strategic Plan, providing outlining the direction and goals for the district in the coming years. The board also approved the purchase of a new activities bus to replace an older bus with mechanical issues. Several buses are expected to be replaced next year, but the district indicated one needed to be purchased early. Cost of the purchase was estimated at just over $106,000.
The next Board of Trustees meeting is slated for Nov. 9.