Archive for Thursday, August 17, 2006

USD 491 budget drops mill rate

August 17, 2006

With a projected influx of money stemming from 40 new full-time students, Eudora USD 491 Superintendent Marty Kobza predicted a net mill rate decrease in the district's 2007-2008 budget.

Kobza presented a preliminary budget July 10 to the district's board of education outlining the possible drop.

Following a second week of publication in the district's official newspaper, The Eudora News, the district will have a hearing during a special meeting Wednesday to approve the budget.

"As far as the overall mill rate, the overall mill rate will be down from last year regardless of what the board decides to do," Kobza said.

Should the published budget be adopted, the district's mill rate will go from 66.538 mills to 66.53 mills.The budget establishes expenditures ceilings not mill levies, which could float up or down depending on final appraisal numbers. By the time the county clerk certifies the budget, the mill rate could drop further, Kobza said.

"More than likely we'll see a decrease of a half a mill or a full mill depending," Kobza said.

This year, the district took advantage of legislation that allowed it to increase the percentage of its local funding mechanism, the local option budget, from 27 to 30 percent of the general fund dollars it gets from the state.

The district's assessed valuation also increased again this year. The assessed valuation is determined by the value of the general fund and the value of all other funds.

The assessed value of the district's general fund jumped more than $5 million from $45,598,015 to $50,827,853.

The assessed value of all other funds increased from $50,785,511 to $56,250,233. A state law writing off $20,000 of appraised value on family homes accounts on the statewide 20 mill levy that supports the general fund accounts for the disparity.

The increased valuation helps lower the school's overall mill rate.

"We are going to reduce the mill rate a little bit this year, and we should be able to continue that trend in subsequent years," Kobza said.

According to the preliminary numbers, the district budgeted a total general operating budget of $8,072,215. Capital outlay for improving the district's infrastructure or repairing buildings is budgeted at $1,022,381.

New staff, the addition of new full-time students and more money from the state helped shape this year's numbers, Kobza said.

There would also be additional operating expenses, the superintendent said.

With the increased expenses, Kobza predicted the district would spend an average of $199 per student.

The district maintained its capital outlay authority at the maximum of 8 mills for the 2006-2007 budget.

A 20.392 mill levy is needed to service the district's outstanding bond issues that decreased this year. The proposed debt service is about $1.1 million. Last year the total was 22.39.

During his presentation to the board of education, Kobza assured them the district was in solid financial shape.

"The budget the way it is right now is very, very solid," Kobza said. "We're in good financial and fiscal shape with this particular budget."

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