Duluth School Board approves tax levy
Duluth taxpayers will see a 4.9 percent increase in their taxes in 2012 for the Duluth school district. The School Board approved the maximum level allowed by the state, which amounts to $25.8 million. The 2011 levy was $24.6 million. That means ...
Duluth taxpayers will see a 4.9 percent increase in their taxes in 2012 for the Duluth school district.
The School Board approved the maximum level allowed by the state, which amounts to $25.8 million. The 2011 levy was $24.6 million.
That means the owner of a $150,000 home will have an increase of $15.12 per year. The board approved the measure 5-2, with members Gary Glass and Art Johnston opposing it.
"We are asking too much here," Johnston said. "Everybody who looks at tax records knows they went up more than 4.9 percent (in total.) Mine went up 25 percent. I think we have to lower this."
The board also approved the annual transfer of about $4.5 million from the general fund to the debt service fund for financing of the long-range facilities plan. That money is meant to come from operational savings, rebates, grants and the sale of properties, except the district has not sold enough properties to make up that funding. The district's fund reserve has taken the blow, leaving it at about half of what it was last year, at about $6.8 million. Once properties are sold, the fund will be replenished, district officials have said.
The board voted 5-2 on the transfer, again with Johnston and Glass opposing the measure.
Glass asked that the district consider refinancing its debt to pay off the long-range facilities plan in 30 years instead of 20.
Business services manager Bill Hanson said that would allow more money to deal with the budget deficit, but it would raise taxes.
"I would remind the board, as I have said on previous occasions, if you decide not to approve this transfer you will increase taxes at some point," he said.
Johnston made an amendment to the resolution to transfer only about half of the $4.5 million. It was defeated 5-2.