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District 12 approves ‘worst-case scenario’ budget

Published: Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013 12:14 a.m. CDT

JOHNSBURG – With a “worst-case scenario” budget in hand, the District 12 school board is looking to increase its property tax levy.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday evening for a balloon levy that asks for an 18 percent increase even though the district expects to see an increase of about 1.5 percent, Superintendent Dan Johnson said.

The state law caps how much some local governments can increase their property tax levy to the rate of inflation plus new growth.

The expected increase of about 1.5 percent would translate to an increase of about $12 for the owner of a $200,000 home on the District 12 portion of their tax bill.

The board will give final approval to the levy request at its December meeting.

The school board also unanimously approved an amended budget with an projected deficit of $1.4 million in its education fund.

Board member Michelle Martin, who is also the chairwoman of the finance committee, called it a “worst-case scenario” that takes into account what the district actually spent versus what it budgeted for over the last three years.

The budget approved Tuesday takes into consideration all the contingencies and possible expenses the district might face as it deals with aging facilities and dropping enrollment, Business Manager Kim Giovanni said at the board’s last meeting.

Another budget passed in September is closer to what the district is actually shooting for. It projects a deficit of about $274,000 over its nine funds, including a $744,000 deficit in the education fund.

About 100 people attended a forum this week to provide input on the district’s facilities, Johnson said. The district will use that information to identify trends and put together recommendations to help the district plan for the future.

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