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South Heart School Board proposes 12 percent take of property taxes

SOUTH HEART -- South Heart Schools discussed a proposal Tuesday to increase its share of the county's property tax levy by .31 percent to 12 percent.

The public was invited to speak at a hearing at South Heart School, but no one from the public attended.

Last year, South Heart considered an 11.69 percent increase from the property tax levy for a total of $533,076.

Superintendent Riley Mattson said that, if approved, the increase means the district would receive 12 percent of what the county collects in property taxes.

"That 12 percent in property tax dollars that we collect is about 20 percent of our budget," Mattson said. "The rest of our dollars comes from a mix of local, state and federal money."

Mattson said the district received $583,045 in property tax dollars this year.

State law requires a public notice if a school is expected to exceed the certified tax rate determined by the auditor. The most school districts can pull in property taxes is 12 percent.

This year, Hebron Public Schools will also consider a 12 percent take in property tax dollars.

Residents of the HPS district will have a chance to voice comments and concerns during a 7:30 p.m. public hearing tonight at the school.

Mattson could not say what the school's proposal will mean for an average homeowner, since he isn't sure how much money will be collected by the county.

Mattson also said the taxable valuation increased a combined $8.5 million for both Stark and Dunn counties.

He said he will need to speak to Jerry Coleman, director of school district finance in North Dakota, to get a handle on what the district should do if property values change in the future.

"Even though the taxable valuations went up, we can only go to 12 percent on property taxes," he said. "The only question is, what if the taxable valuation drops? That's something we need to figure out."