REGIONAL- The St. Louis County School District’s property tax levy for 2023 is projected to go down slightly, but some taxpayers may still see an increase in the taxes they pay.Finance Director …
REGIONAL- The St. Louis County School District’s property tax levy for 2023 is projected to go down slightly, but some taxpayers may still see an increase in the taxes they pay.
Finance Director Kim Johnson told board members at Tuesday’s meeting, held at South Ridge School, that while she continues to monitor and make adjustments, a small decrease in the levy is almost certain.
“It’s still changing, but this is pretty close,” Johnson said. “Most of it relates to our long-term facilities maintenance. In the Pay 22 levy we had a pay-as-you-go levy of about half a million dollars that’s going away. So you’re seeing that decrease, but you’re seeing an increase in the debt service as interest and principal payments change based on the way they were set up. So in total, we’re going to be down about $131,000. On Friday they had an error in the debt service and they got that fixed today, so we’re still going to see a decrease in the levy.”
However, that decrease won’t necessarily translate into savings for some taxpayers whose property has significantly increased in value since last year. Their actual taxes could still go up, Johnson said.
“When they get their statements, if they have an increase in school taxes, the first place they need to look is on their valuations. With school taxes going down in total, valuations will move what percentage you pay of the school taxes.”
Board members voted to give initial approval for the district to levy the maximum amount possible, although a specific percentage was not discussed. Such approval is standard at this point in the budget process, with the final levy amount to be determined later in the fall.
In other action, the board:
• Approved publishing the Notice of General Election for board seats in Districts 2, 3, and 5. The notice lists the candidates as Nathan Briggs for District 2, Ron Marinaro in District 3, and incumbent Lynn Hilde in District 5, all running unopposed.
• Approved amending the district’s contract with the county for ISD 2142 to manage the Check and Connect program. The amendment provides for the addition of mentors in the Rock Ridge and Hibbing school districts, as well as wage adjustments.
• Approved a tuition agreement with the MN Service Cooperatives Online Learning Program for online classes for students. Engebritson noted that this was an ongoing agreement that requires reapproval each year.
• Approved an agreement with St. Louis County for three student resource officers to be placed in district schools, one less than what was requested by the district. Board member Chris Koivisto asked Superintendent Reggie Engebritson to notify him next year well in advance of the date the Board of Commissioners is to vote on the proposal so that he can lobby them directly to fund all of the positions requested.
• Held a second of three required readings of proposed changes to the Internet Acceptable Use and Safety policy, and the first reading of the proposed revised School Meals Policy.
• Approved the final documents authorizing the sale of bus garages in Orr and Cotton that have been discussed at multiple previous meetings.
Approved the 2023-24 school calendar.