Thursday, July 24, 2014
   
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School budget up but levy drops

Valuation keeps tax bills up

There’s no sense asking for more tax money than necessary, the Brady school superintendent says.

Because the school district’s valuation went up another 3%, Brady superintendent Bill Porter was able to drop levies on both the bond fund and the qualified capital purpose undertaking fund.

That means while the operating budget goes up 6.26% for the 2012-13 school year, the overall tax levy for local property owners will go down almost 2%.

But what looks like a break on paper won’t mean reduced cost to taxpayers.

The valuation increase will take care of any savings that a lower levy might bring.

Despite the combined levy going down, the district’s property tax revenue will go up $68,000.

Brady will also benefit from higher state aid, namely a boost in poverty allowance from $17,000 last year to $48,000 this year.

The money, Porter said, helps the district increase teacher salaries as well as adding a paraprofessional.

One chunk of money the Brady school won’t see this year—and neither will any other district—is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds received the past two years.

Porter said the district spent ARRA funds on tangible items such as one-to-one computers so it won’t hurt the budget as much as districts that used the stimulus money on salaries.

Porter said there are no frills in this year’s budget.

“We’re just trying to hold our ground on everything,” he said. “We’ve been through some tough times and people don’t want any tax raises. The cost of living is bad enough.”

Changes may be coming to the state aid formula, he said, that could have big impacts on small district’s like Brady.

“As long as our enrollment stays up, I think we’ll be OK,” he said.

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