Dist. 877 board updated on levy process

The Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Dist. 877 School Board heard an update about the levy process and dates for approval.

The levy process for the 2012 payable 2013 levy cycle remains largely the same as it was for last year.

The district must adopt the proposed levy by Sept. 30. It will be on the board’s agenda for approval at the Sept. 24 board meeting. The district also needs to notify both county auditors of the date for our Truth in Taxation hearing, which will be at the Dec. 10 board meeting.

Director of Finance and Operations Gary Kawlewski shared a couple of factors that are unique this year that will affect the district’s levy. One, the refunding of the bonds that was done this past winter will reduce the amount of debt service levy that is required. The timing of the refunding was done to offset the new tax impact from the Alternative Facilities project that we will be completing next spring and summer that will be added to this year’s levy.

Additionally, due to some contract changes that were negotiated this past year, the district will now be able to qualify for annual OPEB levy (also known as Pay As You Go) that will bring in additional levy authority to help offset the costs of OPEB. The board will be asked to approve the “maximum” levy in September as has been the past practice. This allows the final levy corrections to be made by the Minnesota Department of Education that may not be done in time to approve the levy Sept. 24.

In place again for this year is the Legislative removal of the $390 state paid Market Value credit. Kawlewski mentioned in the past, each homeowner received up to this amount off their taxes dependent on the value of their home. This change in removing the credit was in effect for the first time with taxes payable in 2012. In replacement, the legislature implemented a mechanism that reduces the taxable market value of each property to attempt to offset the loss of the credit. The intent was to be cost neutral to the homeowner in the end.

Kawlewski said he hoped the Truth in Taxation notices would lend themselves to more consistency and comparability this year with the second year of the program.

In other action, the board:

APPROVED a resolution accepting members of the Mississippi 8 Conference (beginning with the 2013-14 school year). Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, Chisago Lakes, North Branch, Princeton and St. Francis will be added to the Mississippi 8 Conference. This will make a total of 10 schools in the conference (currently there are six districts in the conference—Big Lake, Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose, Cambridge-Isanti, Monticello, Rogers and St. Michael-Albertville).