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Paynesville Press - October 6, 2004

Proposed school levy increases slightly for 2005

By Michael Jacobson

The proposed 2005 property tax levy for the Paynesville Area School District (#741) increased slightly from 2004. The district is proposing to levy $1.279 million in 2005, up $20,000 from 2004, when the district levied $1.259 million.

Overall, the proposed district levy increased by 1.58 percent. The levy proposal was approved by the school board at their meeting last week.

The district's final levy needs to be approved in December. This year, the district is planning to hold a truth-in-taxation hearing, where property owners can ask questions about the budget and about its tax consequences, in early December, though the actual date has not been officially set.

The proposed district levy increased in most areas (general fund, excess levy, equity levy, and Community Education, totaling $126,271) but these increases were mostly offset by a decrease in the levy for debt service (down $105,921), yielding a net increase in the proposed levy of $20,350.

levy The general fund levy (see Line A in the chart) is up $49,110, with the district planning to levy $92,800 for health and safety projects, up from $48,800, or $44,000, from 2004. The general fund levy also includes levies for capital expenditures ($45,600), safe schools ($33,600), vocational programs ($23,900).

The proposed levy for the district's excess levy and its equity aid from the state (see Lines B and C in the chart) is up $31,000.

The district's proposed levy for Community Education is (see Line D in the chart) up $46,100 from 2004. This levy, however, was down in 2004 because the state unalloted $30,000 from the Community Education balance. This was done by forcing district's to levy less for Community Education in 2004.

The proposed levy for Community Education ($73,500) in 2005 is up slightly from 2003 ($62,900).

The proposed levy for debt service in 2005, on the other hand, is down $105,900 (see Line D in the chart). These funds are dedicated to paying the bonds from district building projects and the decrease is due to a healthy balance in this district fund. Overall, the proposed district levy for 2005 is $1.279 million, up slightly from 2004 ($1.259 million) and down from 2003 ($1.405 million), when the current excess levy took effect.

The proposed levy is up from 2002 ($0.964 million), the year after the state started paying for more of the basic education aid, thereby reducing property taxes, and the proposed levy is down from 2001 ($2.228 million), before the state reduced property tax burdens by assuming more funding for education.

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