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Archive for Sunday, June 13, 1993

DISTRICT PROPOSES 21 PERCENT HIKE IN LOCAL MILL LEVY

June 13, 1993

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Property owners in the Lawrence school district can expect a tax increase of at least 21 percent to support schools in 1993-94, according to district administrators' recommendations.

The recommendations, to be discussed by the Lawrence school board at its Monday meeting, would mean an increase in property taxes of about $99 annually for the owner of a home appraised at $80,000 home -- $562 next year compared to the $463 paid for school taxes this year.

The jump is attributed largely to three factors: an increase in the statewide school mill levy, payments on a $29.9 million school bond issue approved by district voters in November, and a proposed 2.55 percent increase in the base salary for district teachers.

School Supt. Al Azinger said administrators aren't recommending any significant spending cuts.

"I would say at this point we haven't found a lot of fat in the budget, so there's no place we're going to be able to reduce spending without affecting programs and services," Azinger said. "That becomes hard to do when you're growing rapidly. If you're losing students, the question of spending cuts is a legitimate one."

The district's property tax levy now is 48.28 mills. A mill is $1 of property tax for every $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The levy includes the statewide school property tax assessment of 32 mills. The statewide levy will increase to 33 mills in 1993-94.

Meanwhile, because of the bond issue that voters passed in November, the district's levy for bond and interest payments will increase by about 5.23 mills.

In addition, the school board on Monday will consider ratifying an agreement that would put an extra $1.33 million into teacher salaries and fringe benefits. Craig Fiegel, the district's director of business and facilities, estimated that at least 4 additional mills would be needed to pay for the salary increase.

Those three mill-levy increases would put the district's overall levy at 58.51 mills.

Fiegel said a slight mill-levy increase also would be needed to fund pay increases for classified personnel, such as secretaries, paraprofessionals, custodians and cooks.

Although classified employees do not participate in collective bargaining, administrators have been meeting with classified personnel to discuss salary increases.

The board meets at 7 p.m. at the district's Service Center, 3705 Clinton Pkwy.

@endline:* The complete agenda for Monday's school board meeting appears on page 8A.

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