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School levy drops 0.7 percent

School District 833

South Washington County Schools will collect slightly less in property taxes next year.

District 833 School Board members approved a 0.7 percent decrease in the tax levy for 2017. Their 7-0 vote came Thursday, Dec. 15.

The district's property tax collections will total $72.5 million next year, down from about $73 million in 2016.

The general fund levy, which includes voter-approved referendum revenue and other tax collections that fund basic classroom expenses, will rise by 0.2 percent, from about $42.91 million to $42.98 million.

Levy-supported Community Education funding will increase 4.5 percent, from about $1.38 million to $1.442 million.

Refinanced debt helped to lower the district's debt service levy by about $653,000.

"That's good news," District Finance Director Dan Pyan said.

An alternative teacher compensation levy also was cut, further helping to get toward a decreased levy. While the levy revenue for that program is lower, services for teachers will not change, School Board Chairman Ron Kath said.

Kath said he is happy with the budget and noted that while some property tax statements will drop, the impact varies by property.

"It really gets down to how the houses are valued," he said.

A school budget year runs July to June, but the district must approve its property tax collections on a calendar year schedule, just like other local governments.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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