NBAPS board OK’s property-tax levy

Many property owners in North Branch will see a slight reduction in the school district portion of their property-tax statements this year, except for properties that have seen an increase in assessed value over the past year.  

At the North Branch Area Public Schools School Board meeting Thursday, Director of Finance and Human Resources Randi Johnson reviewed the 2012 property-tax levy, payable in 2013.

The meeting was open to the public, but no one from the audience stepped up to the podium to comment on the levy.

The levy, approved by the school board via a unanimous vote, is about 8.5 percent less than last year’s levy.

The total amount of the levy, not including adjustments or abatements, is $6.5 million.

That amount makes up about 19 percent of the school’s budget.

The bulk of school district funding comes from the state, and a small portion is comprised of other revenue sources like fees.

The levy was less than the amount indicated on Truth in Taxation notices by about $151,000.

Johnson explained the levy amount is lower than last year because the district was able to refinance bonds related to the construction of Sunrise River Elementary School and construction on the high school and middle school.

During the latter portion of her presentation about the levy, Johnson touched on how North Branch stacks up against other school districts in the state in terms of per-pupil funding.

North Branch, for this school year, is receiving $5,310 per student. The state average is $6,246.

The highest-funded school districts receive over $7,000 per student.

“People look at this and they go, ‘How can this be?’” Johnson said. “It’s partly because we don’t have an operating levy in place. This is just looking at what school districts are getting from the general formula, operating levies and equity. That’s why we’re at the bottom—it’s nothing that we’ve done in the district.”

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