Union R-XI

The Union R-XI School Board has voted to maintain the district’s tax rate for 2013-14, despite a loss of about $12.6 million in assessed valuation.

After a public hearing at the board meeting Wednesday night, the board voted unanimously to set the tax rate at $3.75 per $100 of assessed valuation, a rate that has been in place since 2011.

The tax rate is made up of an operating tax levy and a debt service tax levy, both which have a tax rate ceiling set by the state auditor.

The state auditor set the operating tax-rate ceiling at $3.0119 and the debt service levy at .9887. The district was able to maintain its current levy because it has enough in reserve funds to make payments on the $8 million no-tax levy bond issue passed in April.

“It was making me a little bit nervous because we just passed this no-tax levy increase bond issue and by law you have to set that levy to make your payments,” Superintendant Steve Bryant said. “Fortunately, we’re healthy enough in our reserves to maintain our current levy. By law we could have increased that, but we’re still able to make our payments and still able to generate almost a full year’s worth of payments within that debt service levy so our recommendation is to keep it at the current $2.79 and 96 cents.”

The current levy will generate almost $2.8 million in debt service, Bryant said, while the operating fund is expected to generate almost $8.1 million.

That’s a total of $10.8 million for the coming fiscal year, despite an expected loss of about $4.6 million from assessed valuations.

“On the bright side, we’re still able to generate a little over $10 million if we collect 100 percent,” Bryant said.

The district has been collecting around 97 percent of its taxes in recent years, Bryant said.