District approves mill levy increase

By Bethany Knipp

The Manhattan-Ogden school board moved the district’s budget forward Wednesday with a 0.04 mill levy increase from last year, a figure less than the initial proposal.

Under the newest proposal, the mill levy would be set at 52.49 mills.  A mill is $1 in tax for every $1,000 in assessed, taxable property value.For a property owner with a home assessed at $100,000, taxes that raise money for the district would go from $557.18 to $570.46, also accounting for a 2.3 percent average annual increase in home value.Previously, the proposal was to go to 53.42 mills, but that was changed after last-minute adjustments. 

Board members approved a public hearing for the budget proposal scheduled at 6:20 p.m. on Aug. 20. After the board has a chance to hear from the public, the budget can be officially approved.

Some board members said they were pleased about the smaller 0.04 increase.

Board member Darell Edie said he thought director of business services, Lew Faust, did a good job with the proposal.

“I think you did a fantastic job. We have a 0.04 mill levy increase,” Edie said. “I think that’s awesome. I can live with that.”

One concern for some board members about the proposal is that it was calculated at a 30-percent local option budget authority, which means the board has the power to raise locally up to 30 percent of what it receives in state aid.

Thirty percent is the highest authority that can be imposed without a public vote to move higher. The authority for fiscal year 2014 was 27.6 percent.

“That gives us no wiggle room for next year,” board member Curt Herrman said.

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