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School District 833 lowers local levy, but state law could null decrease

The District 833 School Board approved a $53.58 million levy Oct. 6, about $113,000 lower than last year.

That would seem to be good news for local taxpayers, but it is likely property taxes still will rise because of a new law passed by the Legislature. A new "homestead market value exclusion" replaces the "market value homestead credit" taxpayers got in the past.

Under the old provision, homesteads got a credit on their tax statements reducing their gross tax and the state reimbursed local governments for the credits. Under the new law, part of the homestead market value will be excluded from being taxed and the state will no longer pay a share of tax on homesteads, according to Aaron Bushberger, District 833 finance director.

As a result, with the removal of state spending on credits, taxpayers will pay more even if other government levies, such as those from cities and schools, remain the same. For a home with a market value of $116,000, the result is a $30 increase in property taxes, Bushberger said.

"The proposed District 833 levy will decrease from last year but the legislative changes will significantly impact the amount of taxes paid by local property owners," Bushberger said.

The lower levy for schools, he said, is the result of refinancing two bond issues at lower interest rates that will take place this week. The exact levy amount is $53,580,297.45.

The district is no longer required to hold a separate truth-in-taxation hearing on the budget. Instead, an information meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 1 at the District Service Center.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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