Lonedell’s Tax Levy Stays Put - The Missourian: Saint Clair

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Lonedell’s Tax Levy Stays Put

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Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 7:00 am

The Lonedell R-XIV Board of Education on Monday took little time in adopting Superintendent Jen Ulrich’s recommendation in passing the district’s tax levy for the 2014-15 budgetary cycle.

The rural school district will operate under the same tax rate of $3.69 for every $100 of assessed valuation after the school board unanimously approved it.

“There were no comments, issues, concerns or questions,” Ulrich said. “We floated right through it.”

There was no comment during the public hearing portion of the meeting.

Before the vote was taken, Ulrich went through some scenarios with the board and showed members how the district’s operating fund would be affected by raising the levy in 10-cent intervals.

“Basically, each dime would give us about $35,000,” she said. “But, there really wasn’t any discussion by the board on should we or shouldn’t we.”

Ulrich went into the tax levy hearing believing the school district should be able to keep its tax rate the same.

Lonedell’s $3.69 levy is split into $3.48 in the incidental (operations) fund that also includes the teachers fund and 21 cents in the debt service fund.

The superintendent earlier had said that even though the school district has operated in the red as far as its budget for the last several years, now may not be the best time to consider raising the tax levy because it has a high amount of surplus funds.

According to district figures, estimated real estate values for the current year show $24,049,541 for residential, $3,119,432 for agricultural and $1,233,892 for commercial for a district total of $28,402,865.

These figures are through June, the latest month available.

The August 2013 numbers were a little lower. They were $23,831,314 for residential, $3,131,626 for agricultural and $1,036,676 for commercial for a district total of $27,999,616.

However, personal property assessment for 2014 is estimated to be $7,109,460, or about $391,000 less than the 2013 total of $7,500,435.

Adding everything together, the total R-XIV school district assessment is estimated to be $35,512,325 this year compared to $35,505,729 last year, a drop of less than 1 percent.

Last year, Lonedell dealt with a 7.5 percent overall drop in assessment.

Using the June 2014 assessed valuation figures, the $3.48 operating levy would generate about $1,235,829 for the district during this fiscal year. In 2013, the total was $1,245,467.

The debt service fund will bring in another $74,576 for a total of $1,310,405.

In June, Lonedell approved a $4.717 million budget, which is about $186,000 in the red. It marks the fourth year in a row the district has put together a deficit-spent budget.

The 2013-14 budget was $4.828 million.

Final 2014 assessment figures should be released in August.

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