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Truman Schools reducing tax levy

December 18, 2012
Kylie Saari - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

TRUMAN - Truman Public School Board on Monday approved decreasing its local property tax levy by 5 percent for the 2013-2014 school year.

The levy, determined by state funding formulas and voter-approved spending, will decline from $667,214 in the current year to $632,727 next year.

Superintendent Tom Ames said the amount homeowners actually pay is determined by property valuations, so even though the levy is less, taxes could go up or down.

Of the $632,727, $462,389 is a voter-approved operating levy and debt service, Ames said.

In other business:

o Ames asked the school board to consider the possibility of asking voters for a capital projects referendum next winter. He said capital projects levies allow districts to ask for money for things such as books, windows, desks, etc.

Ames is looking into options for increasing revenue to deal with increasing maintenance costs on the district's aging buildings.

"I don't know of too many other revenue sources for us," he said. "I think it could really pay off for the kids."

Four additions have been made to the current school building, with the most recent completed in 1963.

"The basic structure of these buildings is sound," Ames told the board. "This is more maintenance and financial demands awaiting us in the future."

Capital projects levies have a limit of 10 years and are spread out over all land in the taxable region. A review and comment about such levies is required by the Minnesota Department of Education.

The board did not consider an amount of money it would ask for, or for how long. It has several months to consider whether it wants to go forward with a levy request, if it plans to hold a vote in November 2013.

o The audit report for the 2011-2012 school year shows the district is out of statutory operating debt, defined as a negative balance of 2.5 percent or more of the most recent fiscal year's expenditure amount.

Truman Public Schools had been in statutory operating debt since 2000, except for one year when it briefly made it out.



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