District awaits preliminary levy from stateRed Wing School District Finance Director Brad Johnson isn’t expecting big changes between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 tax levies.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing School District Finance Director Brad Johnson isn’t expecting big changes between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 tax levies.
“I’d assume it’s going to be close,” Johnson said.
Johnson received an email Thursday from the Minnesota Department of Education saying the district’s preliminary levy would be available Friday. But, as of Friday afternoon, Johnson still hadn’t seen it.
“Probably Monday, but I’ll be checking over the weekend and late today in case,” he said.
Still, without the numbers in hand, Johnson was fairly sure 2012-13’s levy would look similar to the current levy.
This year saw an $800,000 drop from the year before. “We were very reduced on last year’s levy,” he said.
Johnson explained that the levy dipped for various reasons, including the fact that the district had paid off debt on the Colvill Family Center building.
Still, Johnson said there could be upticks in a couple areas for 2012-13. One would be in the ice arena levy, because Prairie Island Ice Arena is due for maintenance, including waterproofing. Levying for health and safety insurance could also be higher because of workers compensation claims.
The district’s preliminary levy is based on financial information the district submitted to the state earlier this month and will show how much the district will get from taxes for the 2012-13 budget year.
The preliminary levy must be approved by the School Board and submitted for certification to the county auditor by Oct. 7. Because of the state government shutdown last July, the entire levy process has been pushed back and the timeline shortened.
Normally, the district would get the preliminary levy back the first week of school and have until Sept. 30 to approve it. This year, the district will have only about two weeks to look over the preliminary levy.
If Johnson gets the preliminary levy back by Monday morning, he said he would prepare a short presentation to give during the School Board meeting Monday night. The board plans to approve the preliminary levy during its Oct. 3 School Board meeting.
Once it’s approved, the district can lower the levy, but it can’t be raised.