Property Taxes to Schools Decrease for Most in District 196

The district's school board on Monday certified its tax levy payable for 2012, the fourth year in the row the total levy has decreased in amount.

Most property owners in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school district will pay less in property taxes to the school district than last year, according to information from the district.

The on Monday certified a $75.85 million total tax levy for 2011 (payable 2012), by a 6-0 vote.

It's about $2.57 million, or 3.27 percent, less than . Last year’s total levy, in turn, decreased by $95,000 total from two years ago.

The owner of a $232,399 average-value home in the district received a tax bill in November for $1,128 in taxes owed to the school district, according to district documents, which is $17 less than for the $239,506 average-value home last year.

Total property value in the district declined this year by about 6.44 percent. It was the fourth year in a row that the average property value declined in the district, which qualifies the district for more equalization aid from the state, said Director of Finance and Operations Jeff Solomon.

A second factor that lent to the property tax decrease was the district's participation in the state's alternate facilities levy program, for which only 26 districts in the state qualify based on size and square footage of facilities, Solomon said; it provides some resources to maintain buildings, he said.

A different calculation involving properties values—Adjusted Net Tax Capacity—also went down $155.8 million, or 10.69 percent.

The total tax levy amount is nearly the same as what the board approved as the levy limit in September, after a few adjustments; the board would have been able to approve a tax levy at that limit or under, but not over.

Property taxes make up about 22 percent of the district’s annual revenue—19 percent of the revenue in its general fund. State aid makes up a little more than 63 percent of all funds' revenue, and almost 73 percent of its general fund revenue.

About two-thirds of the total levy is voter approved, while the board controls one-third of the levy based on state statutes it must follow, Solomon said. There's a levy for the general fund, debt service fund and community service fund.

The city of Apple Valley also , but many taxpayers will end up owing a few more dollars in city property taxes.

Forgoing a Levy Referendum

Because of additional aid—and the , which people thought could increase residents' taxes—the board , which would have asked voters to pay more taxes to fund district activities.

The state will give the district an extra $50 per pupil on the general education formula allowance this year, and another $50 extra during 2012-13, for a total of about $1.5 million in each of the two years.

Another $2.96 million will come to the district for the 2012-13 school year, as one-time compensatory aid for basic skills expenses, and literacy aid will bring $1.63 million to the district for the 2012-13 school year.

Board member Rob Duchscher attended the board workshop but not the regular meeting, due to illness.


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