In the latest community forum, Superintendent Shon Hocker informed those in attendance that the $115 million bond the district is requesting would add a school district tax of approximately $19.38 per month per $100,000 of true and full value on residential property. The number is different for commercial and agricultural properties.
The $115 million would be used for the construction of a new high school and later a new elementary school, as well as site improvements to school property.
The district receives money through mills. The value of one mill is equal to 1/1,000 of the combined taxable value of all properties in the district. The district has a current taxable valuation of approximately $158 million, so each mill would give the district approximately $158,000.
For the upcoming bond referendum, if the full $115 million is drawn, the annual debt payments would be an estimated $8.2 million. Assuming the district's taxable valuation stays at $158 million, the district would need to levy approximately 51.67 mills to cover the payments.
What does this mean for you, and how do you know how much more you would be paying in taxes?
The district is working on a tool for its website that will allow taxpayers to calculate their school district taxes.
If your home has a true and full value of $100,000, you would pay an extra $232.52 a year in taxes. If your home has a true and full value of $200,000, you would pay an extra $465.03 a year in taxes.
However, the district's business manager, Kent Anderson, describes these numbers as a snapshot in time, as it assumes the taxable valuation does not change, but it does change over time.
"The unknowns are that tax (valuation) doesn't stay the same every year, so it can go up, it can go down," he said. "When it goes up, then it takes less mills to generate the same amount of money. When it goes down, it will take more mills to generate the same amount of money."
Therefore, if the taxable valuation increases, it will take less mills to cover the debt payments and thus you will pay less taxes. If the taxable valuation decreases, it will take more mills to generate the money to cover the debt payments, so you will pay more taxes.
The amount you pay in taxes for the bond may be lower in the early years of the project.
"We won't draw $115 million all at once anyway," Anderson said. "It'll be drawn over the course of construction."
Since the full amount wouldn't be drawn all at once, the district would not need to charge taxpayers 51.67 mills every year-- at least not in the beginning.
"It's inexact, but it's the best estimate we can come up with," Anderson said.
The bond referendum will be up for voting on May 7. Polling locations will be Dickinson High School, Heart River Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Prairie Rose Elementary, Dunn County Courthouse and the Professional Learning Lab.
Community members who have questions or would like more information can attend public engagement meetings in Dickinson High School's auditorium at 7 pm on March 13, March 28, April 10, April 25 and April 30.
True and full value: Market value
Assessed value: Dollar value assigned by a tax assessor to a property for tax purposes
Taxable value: The percentage of your home's assessed value that you pay taxes on
Estimate your school district taxes:
Assessed value: 50 percent of the true and full value of your property
Taxable Value: assessed value multiplied by 9% for residential properties or by 10% for all other properties
Additional School Tax Amount: Divide the taxable value by $1,000. Multiply that number by the mills.
$100,000 true and full value x 50% = $50,000 assessed value
$50,000 assessed value x 9% = $4,500 taxable value
$4,500 / $1,000 = $4.5
$4.5 x 51.67 potential mills = $232.52