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Rugby schools project increase in budget

By Staff | Aug 16, 2012

Mike McNeff, superintendent, Rugby School District, gave a report on the projections for Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) for the school district. A public hearing required by law was held on August 1 at the high school so the public is informed up front of the proposed mill rates for the new school year.

Two residents were present at the beginning and a third resident came later.

McNeff reported that the district is near the end of a major construction and renovation project.

“While the proposed budget shows substantial decrease in general fund expenditures, there is still a large amount of dollars set aside for the remaining project,” said McNeff.

Revenue is expected to be slightly lower in FY13 due in part to the decrease in Title I and Title IIA federal funds. These funds need to come from local and state dollars to make up the difference.

In McNeff’s report it is estimated that the district will require approximately 10 fewertotal mills over last year’s budget. The final mill levies will not be determined until taxable valuations are finalized by the counties and state. Taxable evaluations of property are expected to increase approximately 15% which means the district can levy fewer mills while bringing in more dollars.

McNeff spoke about the increasing need in special education since costs are rising there due to the increase in the number of students needing individual attention and out-of-district services.

Enrollment is good and has been increasing slightly in recent years. Now, the concern is if there would be an influx of new students, more staff and space would be required on the elementary level.

In the proposed school budget for FY13 the General Fund levy will need to be 91.99 mills which would generate $1,563,830.00 from a total property taxable valuation of $17,000,000.00. Technology levy is projected to be 5 mills and $85,000.00. Asbestos/HAVC levy will drop a bit to 6.35 mills and $107,950..00. special assessments at .88 of a mill for $14,960.00; building fund levy is 5 mills and $85,000.00 and the QSCB sinking and interest has dropped to 25.88 mills and $439,960.00. The total requested mills are 135.11 and $2,296,870.00 which is an increase from the realized FY12 budget of $150,301.83.

John Kuntz asked how can property values increase when what you can sell it for doesn’t? McNeff said that question was better answered by the people who work with tax valuations.

Jim Day mentioned that Rugby is about 60% retired and on fixed incomes. Tax dollars take more than they have.

“I sit here opposed to this increase in dollars,” said Day. “Slash athletic programs, if more is needed for special education.”

=The next step in the process is for the county and the state to determine the final total taxable valuation of property in the county and set the mill rate.

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