Most Dist. 11 residents should see taxes decrease

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

By Olivia Alveshere
ABC Newspapers

The Anoka-Hennepin School Board approved a $92.16 million 2017 tax levy Dec. 12.
The levy is about $80,000 less than the proposed levy the board certified in September thanks to an error the Minnesota Department of Education made pertaining to equalization and more than half a million dollars in additional money coming in through the Fiscal Disparities Program, according to Chief Financial Officer Michelle Vargas.
The levy represents a 0.1 percent decrease from 2016.
The district’s tax base grew by 6 percent, which also helps reduce tax rates.
Unless a property’s market value increases by more than 6 percent, Vargas anticipates that school district taxes will decrease or remain flat.
Assuming property values remained flat, homestead residential, non-homestead residential, commercial and industrial, apartment and agricultural homestead properties will all see school district taxes decrease between 6 and 9 percent, according to Vargas’ calculations.
Seasonal recreational residential properties and agricultural non-homestead properties will see an 11 percent decrease in school district taxes if values remain constant, Vargas said.
Because the Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the 2016 tax bill, there were not as many changes to school districts’ property tax levies as there might have been, according to Vargas.
Changes made during the 2015 legislative session continue to be implemented and will affect the 2017 property tax levy.
“The long term facilities maintenance program is ramping up,” Vargas said.
An increase from $193 per pupil unit to $292 per pupil unit for fiscal year 2018 has been factored into calculations, and reductions were made to operating capital and student achievement levies with increased aid in those areas to offset tax impacts, according to Vargas.
No members of the public spoke during the Truth in Taxation public hearing.
Board members approved the $92.16 million levy without discussion.

Contact Olivia Alveshere at [email protected]