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Lake Superior School Board approves slight proposed levy decrease

The Lake Superior School District Board unanimously approved a 0.4 percent proposed levy decrease for 2019 during its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 11.

The School Board voted in September to set the tax levy at the maximum amount allowed by the state. The state sets a maximum of $424 per pupil in local optional revenue for the fiscal year in all districts, regardless of location or enrollment size.

There will be a decrease of $19,302 for the 2019 total payable levy compared to last year. The total levy in 2018 was $4.84 million; in 2019, it will be $4.82 million.

Lake Superior School District business manager Sara Girard noted one of the main reasons for this change is because of an increase in taconite production aid due to legislative changes. Therefore, the property tax levy decreased by $21,168. While the taconite funding decreased the levy amount, other net-tax capacity categories increased in areas such as operating capital, and long-term facility work.

The 2019 levy doesn't affect the current school year's budget, but will fund the 2019-20 school year.

The payable levy accounts for 22 percent of the district's revenue. The other 78 percent comes from a combination of of state and federal aid, local aids, donations, grants and more.

For the 2018-19 budget, the district has projected a $433,694 year-end deficit based on the budget the board adopted in June.

"There will be changes as we revise over the next couple of months," Girard noted.

This amount doesn't reflect fall 2018 changes in enrollment nor the hiring of a long-term substitute for the Two Harbors High School sixth grade in August.

A better understanding of the budget will come with the audit report in January.

Teri Cadeau

Teri Cadeau is a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle. 

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