The USD 234 Board of Education recently adopted resolutions aimed to not increase a tax burden on local residents.
Gina Shelton, USD234 Business Manager, said during a recent presentation to the board that two resolutions were needed to move forward with funding for the school district.
Resolution 21-07 was to adopt LOB Percentage.
“This resolution has no impact on the property tax,” Shelton said. “This resolution is required as we are adopting the state average in our Local Option Budget. This allows us to budget up to 31% of our general fund in our LOB fund, maximizing the state aid we receive.”
The second was Resolution 21-08 which regards exceeding a revenue-neutral rate.
“The 2021-22 budget was built by keeping the mill rate flat for USD 234,” Shelton said. “The school district is not revenue neutral for property tax purposes because the assessed valuation increased and therefore the total amount of property tax collected is more than the prior year.”
“What is important for our community to understand is that the 20 mills assessed for the USD 2324 General Fund is set by statute and those funds are sent directly to the State of Kansas,” she said. “Then that 20 mills is put with other sources of Kansas revenue and then distributed back out to school districts in the form of enrollment-based funding.”
“The 20 mills that are assessed for our general fund are set by statute,” she said. “As the assessed valuation increased, the only way for the school district to remain revenue neutral would have been to decrease the mill rates in the other funds. We have four funds that we levy taxes in – General, LOB, Capital Outlay, and the Bond.”
“Because the assessed valuations increased district-wide, even though our mill rate isn’t changing, the amount of taxes being assessed are more,” Shelton said. “The assessed valuations are set by the county, not the school district.”
“For 2021-22, for each $1 raised locally in the general fund, the district receives $8.67 in state aid,” Shelton said. “Because that 20 mills is set by statute, we would have had to reduce the mills in other funds to be revenue-neutral. This would have impacted our ability to fund our student’s educational needs, capital outlay needs, and our bond payment schedule.”
“The budget is built and driven by the board’s mission and areas of focus – which all center around kids,” she said.
Shelton said the district’s 2021-22 budget is made up of:
State Revenue – 76%
Federal Revenue – 12%
Property Tax – 12%