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home : news : news Friday, April 29, 2016

3/30/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Northeast budget includes 13 cent drop in tax rate

By Jeremy Huss
Staff writer

The property tax rate in the Northeast Community School District will fall 13 cents to approximately $14.80 per $1,000 valuation under the budget proposal for the 2013/14 school year, a decrease of 13 cents from the current rate.

The proposal would generate $2.6 million in property tax revenue as part of an $18.4 million budget that includes $3 million in state foundation aid and $7.5 million for construction of a gym and science classroom addition.

The proposal is dependent on voter approval of a $7.5 million bond issue and a 67-cent physical plant and equipment levy (PPEL) at a special school election April 2.

It also is based on the legislature authorizing 4 percent allowable growth for schools. The tax rate will decrease from the published rate if the legislature authorizes a lesser amount of allowable growth or if the ballot measures fail to win voter support.

Sixty percent voter approval is needed to approve the bond issue, while a simple majority vote is required to approve the PPEL increase.

The overall tax rate of $14.80 per $1,000 is based on a general fund levy of $9.60, an instructional support levy of 10 cents, a management levy of $1.43, a 33-cent board-approved PPEL, a 67-cent voter-approved PPEL and a debt service levy of $2.67.

The budget also includes an income surtax of 11 percent, which is unchanged from the current year. The surtax will generate an estimated $349,346 in revenue.

The management levy, which is used to pay for early retirement incentives, worker's compensation insurance and related expenses, will generate $250,000.

The district is estimating a beginning fund balance of $1.4 million and revenues of $17 million that will result in a total of $18.4 million in educational resources from local taxes, state and federal aid and debt proceeds.

The estimated expenditure of $17.9 million is an increase of $8.2 million over the current year budget of $9.6 million. The increases in revenue and expenses are due primarily to the proposed facility addition.

Under the proposal, Northeast will end the year with an estimated fund balance of $515,719.

Expenses include $5.7 million for general instruction, $390,000 for student support services, $237,500 for instructional staff support services, $280,000 for general administration, $580,000 for building administration, $180,000 for business/central administration, $840,000 for operation and maintenance and $685,000 for student transportation.

Other expenses include $426,000 for non-instructional costs, $232,957 in payments to the AEA, $700,000 for debt service and $7.7 million for facilities acquisition and instruction.

Northeast superintendent Jim Cox said the district's financial position will allow it to lower the overall tax rate while moving forward with the gym and classroom addition at the high school, assuming the April 2 ballot measures are approved.

"So there will be no increase as a result of the bond referendum or a successful vote on the PPEL," Cox said.

If the ballot measures don't pass, the school board will have to adjust the budget prior to its approval. If the bond referendum and PPEL increase are not approved, outgoing business manager Tina Bartels said administrators will ask the board to authorize a "pre-levy" in order to make an early payment on the 1995 elementary school bonds in order to retire the debt early.

A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 9.


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