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The District 196 School Board on Sept. 25 approved a proposed 2017 (payable 2018) property tax levy at the state maximum levy limitation. Based on data provided by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) as of Sept. 19, the district’s maximum proposed levy for payable 2018 property taxes is $91,021,758, which is approximately $2.08 million (2.3 percent) more than the current year’s levy of $88,942,680.

Director of Finance and Operations Jeff Solomon said the two biggest reasons for the levy increase are enrollment growth and the annual inflationary increase the district receives on the 10-year operating levy that was approved by voters in 2013.

The maximum levy limitation is determined by MDE for each public school district in the state. The School Board will certify a final levy at its Dec. 11 regular meeting. By law, the final levy amount may not be greater than the proposed levy, except for adjustments made by the state.

The district’s proposed levy will be submitted to Dakota County, which will mail notices to property owners in mid-November showing estimated taxes based on proposed levies approved by the school district, cities, the county and other taxing agencies. The total value of all property in District 196 increased by 4 percent over last year to $15.6 billion. School district taxes will be spread across this valuation.

Based on current data and assumptions, Solomon estimates that school taxes on last year’s $263,000 average-value home in District 196 will decrease by 1.6 percent, if there was no increase in the assessed value of the home. If the assessed value of last year’s average-value home increased to the current district average of $278,000, Solomon said the estimated increase in school taxes on that property will be approximately 4.5 percent or $59 for the year.

Local property taxes represent approximately 20 percent of the revenues District 196 will receive this year. The other sources are state aids and credits (61 percent), federal aid (4 percent) and the remaining 15 percent from other sources such as self-insurance, gifts, donations and miscellaneous revenues such as food service fees, activity fees and admissions.

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