Austin school board sets levy; At just over $6.7 million, 2016 will be a decrease of 1.57 percent from 2015

Published 10:51 am Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Austin Public Schools’ 2016 levy will decrease by about 1.57 percent from 2015.

The Austin Public Schools Board voted unanimously to set its 2016 levy at just above $6.7 million Monday at its regular scheduled meeting in the District Office Conference Room.



“Overall it’s good news,” Finance and Operations Director Mark Stotts said during the meeting. “We should receive more revenue but less levy to our local taxpayers.”

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Board member Kathy Green was excited to hear about the decrease as well.

“Good news for the taxpayers from the school district perspective,” she said to Stotts.

School officials were also pleased with a change in state funding. During this spring’s special session, the state Legislature passed the Longterm Facility Maintenance Revenue, which will replace the former Health and Safety Revenue, deferred maintenance revenue, and alternative facilities bonding.

“We’re really excited about this longterm facilities maintenance revenue, because over a period of three years it’s going to increase every year and it’s going to allow us to do some things that maybe we’ve had to put off in the past,” Stotts said. “And really, hopefully we can get current on things like roofs and parking and parking lots and those types of things.”

Stotts said the new system will give districts more money, and Austin will get about $200,000 to $250,000 more revenue for the 2016-17 fiscal year than they will receive this school year. This revenue means property taxes could go down next year since there will be more state aid.

The money can go to any health and safety project such as asbestos removal or fire marshall orders, or to deferred maintenance projects such as roofing or HVAC systems repairs.

The district’s truth in taxation meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Dec. 14 after the regularly scheduled school board meeting at the City Council Chambers.

Preliminary levies

Austin Public Schools: about $6.7 million, a 1.57 percent decrease

Mower County: about $19.25 million, a 3.4 percent increase

City of Austin: $4.9 million, a 13 percent increase

*Note: Levies set in September are preliminary levies, which will be finalized in December. The levies can be lowered before then but not increased.