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Austin School Board sets levy at 4.75% increase, will go lower

The Austin School Board on Monday approved the 2020 Pay 2021 proposed levy, but that number will will lower thanks to moves by the district that will pass along savings to taxpayers.

The board approved a 4.75 percent increase, but that number will be reduced by three percent thanks to a refinancing of building bonds used in the construction of IJ Holton Intermediate School in 2012.

The 2020A refunding bond refinancing will be in locked in on Oct. 8 and ratified by the board on Oct. 12. With the reduced three percent, the increase reflected will only be 1.75 percent for the next year.

“The really good news is upon approval of refunding bonds, the step will save taxpayers by reducing interest on the building bonds,” said Austin Public Schools Executive Director of Finance and Operations Lori Volz.

The annual savings for the district will be between $248,000 and $250,000 a year during the period between 2022 through 2032. In total the savings in interest will be around $2.7 million.

“We’re going through every avenue possible to improve the bottom line and improve the finances of the school and do what we can to help the taxpayer,” Volz said. “And that’s a prime example of that.”

The final levy will be brought to the board in December.