Duluth School Board Prepares To Vote On Tax Levy

By KBJR News 1

December 12, 2012 Updated Dec 12, 2012 at 11:27 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The Duluth school board is planning to vote on the 2013 tax levy next week that includes an 11.9 percent tax increase.

The district will receive an additional $3M if approved.

About $3.5M is in the Duluth School District's reserve fund.

These funds, which are at about half of what they were one year ago, are used for cash flow.

Some of the money has been reduced to pay down the debt for the Red Plan.

That plan includes anticipated revenue from schools being sold on the market that never happened.

So the question is with school officials being expected to be paid back by the state for the money the state borrowed last year, when will they be reimbursed and how will that impact the 2013 budget?

"It's my understanding that within the next month the state will be accelerating the amounts that they have withheld from us. Either way, this will set the anticipated revenues that we will have for the 2014 operating year. Then we will calculate our expenses," Jody Leblanc, the Duluth School Board Financial Manager, said.

The tax increase is because the property sales have been lagging behind.

The board decided that an increase in the current levy will offset the property sales, such as with the Central high school and Rockridge elementary school.

No matter if the tax levy passes or not, LeBlanc does not expect any job loss in the district.

Leblanc says there are interested buyers on some of the district's listed properties.

When they do sell, the levy will be adjusted and reduced to reflect the increase of the nearly two million dollars in lost property sales.

Justin Reis, NNC.
jreis@kbjr.com