TRUMAN - Truman school board members on Tuesday approved a 2011 property tax levy of $686,493, down from $704,683 this year. That's a 2.6 percent decrease.
Superintendent Tom Ames told board members the amount a district is allowed to levy is determined by state formulas and has little to do with the actual needs of the district.
He explained the change in the levy doesn't reflect a change in revenue, but instead shows the balance between how much the district gets from the state and how much it gets from local taxpayers.
Operating and bond referendums can cause a levy to increase. Although voters in Truman approved an operating referendum this year, it is a continuation of money already coming to the district.
The decrease in the levy is a result of a combination of factors, according to Ames, including a property valuation increase of 19 percent, despite a statewide trend toward lower property values.
"The value of farmland is going up," Ames said, "even if home values in town are going down. ... With property values going up, that means more money from the government."
In other business:
o Board members discussed moving up a levy renewal referendum vote one year, so it doesn't coincide with major elections in 2012. Like the levy approved this year, the operating referendum would involve a continuation of a referendum passed in 2002.
o Principal Brian Shanks told the board he intends to use money raised by students at William Budd Elementary and Five Lakes Elementary in Fairmont after the fall floods in Truman to bring the Science Museum of Minnesota program to Truman's students.