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District 46 approves levy increase

Published: Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 5:06 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 11:27 p.m. CDT

PRAIRIE GROVE – The School District 46 Board has unanimously approved a levy totaling $10.7 million, an increase of 1.08 percent over last year.

The move makes District 46 one of the few school districts in the area not to request a balloon levy designed to capture all the increase allowed under the state tax cap.

The tax cap ties increases in the amount local governments can collect in property taxes to the rate of inflation plus new growth.

District 46 isn’t expecting any new development in its boundaries, Superintendent Lynette Zimmer said. Its overall equalized assessed value – the property value property taxes are based off – is set to decrease again.

That means the increase will be spread over current taxed property.

The approved increase represents the final year in the Taxpayer Partnership Plan resolution passed in 2011.

Under the resolution, the board agreed to reduce the tax rate by 35 cents per $100 of equalized assessed property value.

The plan was put in place to reimburse taxpayers the difference between what they thought they approved in a 2002 tax-rate referendum and what the district actually ended up receiving in how the referendum was interpreted.

While the district isn’t collecting everything it could under the state tax cap, Zimmer doesn’t expect that to affect the district’s ability to balance its budget, in part because enrollment has dropped 25 percent since 2006.

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