Slight decrease in 2013 levy for St. Francis School District

The St. Francis District 15 School Board Dec. 10 approved its property tax levy payable 2013, which is 1.83 percent less than the current levy.

The levy is $201,155 under the current levy of $11,015,622, said Scott Nelson, business services associate director, during the Truth in Taxation hearing.

“There is no real truth in taxation,” he said.

It would take all taxing jurisdictions to be in the same room with legislators for that to happen, Nelson said.

The only role the district has in setting the annual levy is to approve the amount, he said.

All of the levy amounts are determined by the Minnesota Department of Education and approved by the district, according to Nelson.

The most significant changes were to the re-employment insurance budget, voter approved debt and the referendum reduced equity, he said.

Most of the funds are impacted by the changes in student enrollment, Nelson said.

With the reduction in enrollment, the funds decreased, he said.

The general fund levy, which is 82 percent of the total, dropped from $4,511,467 to $4,334,729, Nelson said.

The debt service levy, which includes voter approved debt, also dropped from $6,154,189 to $6,114,357.

In the case of the voter approved referendum in the general fund, the levy amount dropped from $1,821,524 to $1,741,909.

Re-employment insurance dropped from $323,183 to $165,110.

While referendum reduced equity increased from $535,971 to $678,567 for next year, it does not reflect the entire $50 extra per pupil the 2011 Minnesota Legislature granted schools for 2012 and 2013, Nelson said.

When the Legislature added the extra $50 per pupil, the district’s equity amount decreased, making the amount the district receives per pupil unit $40, he said.

“Then the state borrowed from us, making the district borrow, which brings the increase down to about $20,” Nelson said.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]