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MURRAY SCHOOL BUDGET PLAN MAY DECREASE TAX RATE

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Murray property owners will see a slight decrease in taxes but an increase in spending for textbooks and supplies if the proposed 1989-90 Murray School District budget is adopted.

The Murray Board of Education proposed a $19,893,758 million budget, a decrease of $1,552,705, or 7 percent, from this year's budget. The proposed tax rate drops from .008052, or 40.62 mills, to .007966, or 39.83 mills.Business Administrator Richard Clark said the decrease in the tax rate and budget is due to several factors.

Murray's assessed valuation rose by more than $65 million, from $931.6 million to $997 million. Clark said that was because of a $40 million increase in re-evaluated property, mainly commercial property, and $25 million in residential and commercial growth.

In addition, the school district's debt payment will drop from $1.5 million to $700,000 in 1989-90. The debt will be paid off on June 30. Murray's $3 million bond was issued in 1980 for construction of the Horizon Elementary School and partial replacement of the Liberty Elementary School.

Clark said the debt was structured so that most of it is being paid in the last two years.

The district proposes to use some funds that were allocated to debt for new textbooks and supplies for the district's 6,000 students. The proposed budget calls for a 40 percent increase in the textbook budget and a 10 percent boost in the supplies budget.

Also, the district plans to replace some old furniture and equipment.

Because of the shift in funds from capital expenditures to textbooks and supplies, Murray must hold a truth-in-taxation hearing before the school board can vote on the budget. It will be Aug. 1 and notices will be mailed to residents. The board, however, has tentatively approved the proposed budget.

The school district will lose two sources of income. Murray City will pay the final installment of the $200,000 it paid for the old Arlington School. The Utah Learning Resource Center, which provides training for teachers working with the handicapped, has moved out of the school district. Murray administered the center's $500,000 budget and the program paid rent to the school district.

Negotiations are still under way for teacher salaries, but Clark said the district and teachers are close to a settlement.

Murray's 260 teachers did not receive a raise this year. Because of the 3-percent increase in the Weighted Pupil Unit, the basic funding mechanism for public education, the teachers will likely get a 3-percent raise, Clark said. However, the negotiations must still resolve several other issues.