Lawrence school budget approved with little hoopla

Thirty minutes came, and 30 minutes went, and not a single person said anything about the Lawrence school district’s plans for spending up to $168 million this coming academic year.

“That went very well,” said Kathy Johnson, the district’s finance director, after a formal budget hearing closed Monday night. “Nobody was here.”

School board members approved the budget, which calls for $56.3 million generated from property taxes. Board members previously had cut $4.6 million from the budget by eliminating teaching positions, dropping learning coaches, slashing administrative costs and making other changes.

The actual budget document will be forwarded to state and Douglas County leaders Aug. 25.

Owners of property in Lawrence will pay another 2.076 mills in property taxes to support the budget, compared with a year earlier. With each mill equal to $1 in tax for every $1,000 of a property’s assessed valuation, the owner of a $150,000 home would pay another $35.81 in property taxes.

Other local governments have their own tax plans. The city of Lawrence does not intend to increase its rate for next year, while Douglas County does intend to do so, by 2.993 mills — enough to add $51.63 to the bill for the owner of a $150,000 home.

Owners of property in Lawrence, within the Lawrence school district, would have a tax rate of 123.885 mills for the coming year, when combining property taxes paid to the city, school district, county and state. For the owner of a $150,000 home, that would be a bill of $2,137, up 4.2 percent from this past year.