School Board Preparing to Set Property Tax Levy
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The Rochester School Board could vote this evening on the school district’s 2016 property tax levy.
The preliminary levy was set at $40.8 million dollars, but that was before voters approved a $9.6 million dollar operating levy last month. The State Department of Education has since recalculated the maximum amount the district can levy at $52.7 million dollars, which includes revenues from a $164 dollar per student school board operating levy that voters were told would not be assessed if the referendum passed in November.
The district’s staff will present two options to the school board and both would be below the maximum levy amount calculated by the state. The first would “under-levy” the $164 dollar amount. That means the school district would not collect the levy, but it would remain on the books and could be reinstated by the school board to support future budgets until its expiration in the summer of 2019. That would result in the overall school property tax levy rising $8.7 million to just over $49.5 million dollars next year. The second option calls for an overall levy increase of $9.6 million to about $50.4 million dollars.
The documentation supplied by the school district indicates the tax base in Rochester grew by over $400 million this year. Under the first option, that would reduce the impact of the new operating levy on the taxes paid by the owner of a $200,000 home by nearly $50 when compared to the figure quoted by the school district while it was seeking approval of the tax increase.