R-XIV Stands Pat on Tax Levy - The Missourian: Local News

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R-XIV Stands Pat on Tax Levy

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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2013 7:00 am

Despite a $3 million drop in total real estate and personal property assessed valuation within its borders, the Lonedell R-XIV School District Board of Education on Monday voted to keep its tax levy the same for the 2013-14 academic year.

That rate is $3.69 for every $100 of assessed valuation. The amount is split into $3.48 in the incidental, or operations, fund that also includes the teachers fund and 21 cents in the debt service fund.

“We’ve made it simple,” Lonedell school board President Kathy Reed told fellow board members during the public hearing. “The administration is recommending we keep the tax levy the same.”

The seven board members unanimously approved the tax levy during the hearing before their regular August meeting.

“We did not ask for an increase,” Superintendent Jen Ulrich told The Missourian. “However, our assessed valuation is down by nearly $3 million from last year. This will have a negative effect on our budget. Our district will experience a decrease of over $100,000 in lost tax revenue from this decrease in assessed valuation.”

Lonedell’s school board approved a $4.828 million budget in June that projects a deficit of about $28,000. The new budget is slightly less than the 2012-13 amount of $4.89 million.

Figures from Lonedell estimate 2013-14  real estate valuation at $28,033,238. That total is split three ways with residential projected to be $23,854,794, agriculture at $3,141,768 and commercial at $1,036,676.

This year’s residential subcategory took the hit as last year’s amount was $27,850,000. The 2012-13 agriculture assessed valuation was $2,228,052 while commercial was $1,062,656.

Personal property assessed valuation is up this year at $7,500,435 compared to $7,187,267 from 2012, according to district figures.

The 2013 figures were from June 10. Final figures will be available later this month.

Assuming a 95 percent collection rate, the $3.69 tax levy is expected to generate in the neighborhood of $1,174,743.23 of revenue in the incidental fund and $70,889.68 in the debt service fund. That adds up to be $1,245,632.91.

“As a board we feel good about retaining the current tax levy,” Reed told The Missourian. “Even though our assessment was lower than expected. we are hopeful that the new construction in the area will help with any deficit by not increasing the current levy.”

Two years ago, Lonedell considered increasing its debt service levy to as high as 26 cents from the 21 cents, but opted to leave it alone.

Earlier this month, the St. Clair R-XIII School District Board of Education also approved the same tax levy for 2013-14 as it did last year. The amount is $3.37 for every $100 of assessed valuation.

It also sustained its tax rate despite a significant drop in assessed valuation.

No one from the public attended the hearing. There was no discussion by board members on the tax rate before it was approved.

/local_news