Archive for Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lawrence school board proposes lower mill levy raise

The Lawrence School Board Monday arrived at a property tax increase that was less than originally projected. A hearing concerning the increase is set for next month.

July 20, 2010


Lawrence school board members Monday arrived at a property tax levy increase of 2 mills, less than half of a potential 5-mill increase presented last month.

“Zero or less would potentially be better for some people. However, I still think it’s a challenge,” board member Mark Bradford said. “It’s a challenge with what we’ve taken away (through cuts). This is how we put back a little bit, and unfortunately we have to do that through taxes.”

Board members will have a budget hearing for the 2010-2011 school year with public comment Aug. 9. After that the board could lower the mill levy but not increase it.

Administrators in late June presented projections and warned that property valuation in the district could drop as much as 1 percent to 3 percent, meaning it would take more mills to raise the same amount of dollars as the year before.

A mill is $1 in property tax for every $1,000 in assessed valuation.

But district administrators said Monday that the district’s total valuation is now only expected to drop 0.49 percent.

Also, the earlier budget scenarios built in an extra 2 mills in the district’s capital outlay fund for building projects, which is money that by law can’t be spent on general operations like teacher salaries.

After administrators said they were confident the district could handle planned projects and potential emergency repairs in the next year, board members decided against the extra 2 mills.

“If we can reduce some of the (economic) pressure by reducing the capital outlay levy, I think that’s something we should do,” board member Marlene Merrill said.

According to projections, an increase of 2.076 mills would cost the owner of a $200,000 home an extra $48 in taxes a year. Total school district taxes on the home would be $1,333.

Because of state funding cuts, the school board has already cut $4.6 million from its 2010-2011 budget.

Administrators say the 2 mill increase overall is due to a higher payment next year on principal for the 2005 bond issue, as well as added authority on the district’s local-option budget due to projected enrollment increases at the Lawrence Virtual School and among students who receive free and reduced-price lunches.


SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 11 months ago

A 2.076 mill increase for the school board A 3.3 mill increase for the county commission A 2.0 mill increase for the city for 20 years to pay for a new library = A 7.376 mill increase

But don't forget the 18.86% increase in the sales tax rate which took effect on July 1.

And don't forget the three sales tax increases which passed in November of 2008.

Taxed enough?

yellowdot99 7 years, 11 months ago

I am single, retired and being taxed out of Lawrence, a city I have loved for 45 years.

Centerville 7 years, 11 months ago

The School Board is going to raise the mil levy, but the headline writer says that the School Board will lower the mil levy. Did he learn math in the public schools?

jackson5 7 years, 11 months ago

Last year, millions and millions in property taxes was spent on sports facilities, land, parking lots and architectural fees at the expense of educational facilities such as labs, computers, and getting kids out of trailers and into buildings.

Yet, last year, our district was on the KS Dept. of Education "watch list" because of poor academic performance. Sure hope that we didn't make a mistake by investing in sports facilities, at the expense of academic equipment and facilities.

sherlock 7 years, 11 months ago

so how much was donated last night at the meeting from the Lawrence Tennis Assoc? It was on the consent agenda so wasnt told! So how does one find out? What will it be used for?

basenji 7 years, 11 months ago

Where are the news stories or blog comments about the deadbeat delinquents that just aren't paying their taxes? I'm not talking about the state, county, and local taxpayers one year behind, but the businesses or individuals owing tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands in property tax, real estate tax, sales tax, business employee tax, hotel room tax, and State income tax with debts going back three or four years. If you have a tax debt of over a hundred thousand, it would seem to me there would be some assets to seize and sell. Delinquent tax information is available on the KS Department of Revenue website. Unfortunately, the Douglas County KS website property tax deadbeats can't be easily traced because you can only search by address or parcel, unlike a lot of other Kansas county websites which publish a list with names and addresses. If tax collection is underfunded (remember last January when the State couldn't afford to send you a tax instruction booklet?) then this should be a priority. Any State, County, or local tax increase proposal means all the rest of us are picking up the tab. I am familiar with all of the Douglas County businesses that are in arrears more than two years, and guess what? I do not shop at your store or buy your pizzas (and there are more than one shop on the list).

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