Setting sums for schools; per legislation, districts hold public meetings focusing on fundsDue to new legislation, North Dakota schools including South Heart, Dickinson and Richardton-Taylor will host public hearings to discuss the levy of property taxes with district taxpayers.
By: By Sean M. Soehren, The Dickinson Press
Due to new legislation, North Dakota schools including South Heart, Dickinson and Richardton-Taylor will host public hearings to discuss the levy of property taxes with district taxpayers.
Law requires public notice if a school is expected to exceed the certified tax rate determined by the auditor.
Stark County Auditor Kay Haag said it is difficult to determine what effect an increased levy will have on property taxes at this point.
“You must incorporate all entities,” she said, adding that fire departments, park districts and others receive tax funding. “Once we get all the budgets, we can determine what each of them needs.”
South Heart School is considering increasing the property tax levy by 11.69 percent and will host a meeting on Tuesday.
“We raise it enough to stay up with bills and pay our teachers,” South Heart Superintendent Riley Mattson said.
The increase would bring the property tax to $533,076, Mattson reported through faxed information to The Dickinson Press.
Each entity will receive funds in mills, which is calculated by comparing the expected budget to assessed property value.
Haag said that in her ongoing assessment, the mill levy is more valuable this year than in the past.
“Last year, one mill in the county was worth $66,717,” she said. “For this year’s preliminary budget, one mill equals $74,682.”
Mattson said that South Heart would not be requesting more mills this year, however, more revenue may be generated because of the increased value.
Dickinson Public School Vice Superintendent Vince Reep said it would be similar for his district.
“We will levy the same mills, but they will bring in more money for the school district,” he said.
In the 2011 DPS annual financial report, more than $6 million of revenue came from the property tax levy.
Richardton-Taylor Superintendent Brent Bautz said there has been a considerable increase in property value in his district because an ethanol plant is located there and that the increase will bring more revenue to the school.
Last year DPS received 122.2 mills, South Heart received 106.75 and Richardton-Taylor received 125, Haag said.
South Heart’s public hearing will be Tuesday at 7 p.m. at South Heart School.
Bautz and Reep said hearings will be scheduled at a later date.