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$300,000 returned to local schools

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By Jamison Hooks staff writer

The Morgan County School Board of Education (BOE) received $322,249 worth of state funding after an arbitration decision on the 2013 Sales Ratio Study. In addition to this figure, Business Operations Manager Libby Whitaker explains that they anticipate $60,000 in public utility tax revenue. “We went to Atlanta this morning to proceed in the arbitration process of the sales ratio study. On the way home we already had our results,” explained Whitaker. “The exciting news is we were able to increase our ratio and to meet our goals.” By appealing the original sales ratio in September, the BOE received an additional $123,000 in state funding. This raised the percentage from 34.83 percent to 36.21. Whitaker was confident they could take it one step further through arbitration. After arbitration, the final sales ratio percentage came out to 38.68 percent which equates to $322,249 in state funding. Attorneys that represented the BOE through the arbitration process Buddy Welch and Grant McBride as well as Chief Appraiser from the Morgan County Tax Assessors Office, Chuck Anglin were instrumental in this accomplishment. “Chuck put many hours into gathering numbers and data in order to help us understand the ins and outs of not only the ratio, but what was wrong with it as well,” said Whitaker. Welch and McBride went over the arbitration process step by step with board members explaining how this will benefit Morgan County Schools. “Your actions in this matter and letting us go forward has created funds that you would have lost otherwise,” stated Welch. “These funds could be used to hire more teachers and support important school programs,” explained McBride Welch took the opportunity to recognize Whitaker for her dedication to the matter. “The main reason I wanted to come over here is to tell you that public servants never get recognized for who they are and what they do. Libby is an absolute genius when it comes to dollars. People need to know what a valuable asset you have in her,” said Welch. Welch continued the accolades by recognizing the hard work of Anglin as well. “I’ve dealt with a lot of assessors over the years and Chuck was superb,” said Welch. Board members were extremely pleased commented on the impressive accomplishment. “We are very appreciative of your work for getting the ratio where it is supposed to be,” said BOE Chairman Nelson Hale.

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