Brainerd School District officials said its taxpayers will see an increase in the school portion of their 2004 property taxes mainly due to changes the state made to the district's funding.
The Brainerd School Board approved the final 2004 school levy Monday. The final levy is $3,000 less than the proposed levy the board approved in September.
Brainerd Business Manager Steve Dickinson said the change is due to the state making a funding change in the health and safety fund in the past two months.
The 2004 levy was certified at an estimated $9.56 million or an increase of about $913,908 from this year. The 2003 school levy was $8.65 million.
"The 2003 legislative changes significantly affect the payable 2004 levy, " said Dickinson. "Because of the state deficit, revenues that were funded with all state aid have been partially shifted to local property taxes."
Of the $913,908 increase, 74 percent or $674,389 resulted from the legislative changes, school officials said.
"The changes made by the district all fall under the range as promised for the bond referendum last year," said Dickinson.
Voters approved a referendum to allow the district to levy $146 per pupil unit in 2003 and $195 per pupil in 2004. The $195 per pupil unit will bring in $809,045 in revenue or a $192,244 increase from this year.
The community education fund levy will decrease from $575,946 in 2003 to $433,220 in 2004. Dickinson said with the state changes for 2004, state aid to the community education fund was reduced to leave the school district with a 25 percent fund balance in the black.
In other school business, the school board:
Approved a $6.3 million alternative facilities bond that will be used for health and safety projects. The projects include indoor air quality upgrades at Riverside, Baxter and Garfield elementary schools and at Mississippi Horizons.
The bond was awarded to Cronin and Co. Inc., of Minneapolis, at a net interest rate of nearly 3 percent.
The district received 10 bids with interest rates between 2.9493 to 3.1353 percent.
Heard an update on the Literacy Collaborative from Beth Swenson of Lincoln Elementary School. The Literacy Collaborative is a national program that combines literacy instruction and staff development.
Recognized board members Janet Moran and Randy Klinger, who chose not to seek re-election.
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