Trustees for the Tuloso-Midway Independent School District are on the verge of approving the budget for the 2008-09 Fiscal Year, as well as an increase in the tax rate.

School board members met Monday to receive an update on the proposed budget, as well as discuss the publication of the proposed tax rate, for the new fiscal year.

During the 2007-08 budget cycle, the school district's tax rate took a 33-cent dive to $1.28 per $100 valuation over the previous fiscal year. This year, the tax rate will increase by 5 cents, up to $1.33 per $100 valuation.

However, assistant superintendent for business and operations Carol Sue Hipp said the raise in the tax rate this year was originally projected to be nearly 11 cents. A tax base that increased by a greater-than-expected 8.3 percent, along with good interest rates on the sale of $27.4 million in 2006 bonds for district-wide renovations, led to the lower tax rate hike.

"This is truly great because of the tax base," Hipp said.

However, there is a downside to the growing base of taxpayers for the school district, she added.

"As the tax revenue goes up, state revenue goes down and the bucket stays the same," Hipp said.

The proposed 2008-09 budget is currently projected to be $31.4 million, up about $1 million from last year's budget.

In addition, the debt service payment estimated to be about $4 million, up from $3.1 million the school district paid last year. A report issued by Hipp showed that the payments are scheduled to decrease slightly for the 2009-10 fiscal year, but begin climbing during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 budget cycles.

The debt service tax, though, which is projected to be at 29 cents per $100 valuation this fiscal year, will see a 1 percent decrease over the next three years, according to the report.

The school board is scheduled to approve the final budget and tax rate at an Aug. 25 public meeting.