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Board OKs budget amendment for school district

The Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen has agreed to transfer $1.1 million from the city’s general fund reserves to help finance the startup costs associated with a municipal school district.

Board members approved an ordinance Monday night on first reading to amend the city’s 2013 budget to include money for the Germantown Municipal School District.

City Administrator Patrick Lawton said the transfer is necessary to compensate for the shortcomings of the half-cent sales tax increase voted on in August.

Lawton said the new tax money being collected would account for only $1.7 million of the $2.8 estimated for creating a school district. A full year of the tax increase is expected to generate $2.4 million.

“Because of the significant startup costs and only nine months of collection from the half-cent sales tax increase,” Lawton said, “it will be necessary.”

Lawton said the transfer would not impact the city’s designated reserves.

Startup money for the school system, slated to open in August 2013, will be needed to lease offices for administrators and faculty and pay for software, hardware, consulting, etc.