Archive for Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lawrence school board to consider tax break request from local architecture firm

April 7, 2011


The Lawrence school district could expect to receive another $85,000 in revenue from a new architecture office, under a tax-break plan up for review Monday night by the Lawrence school board.

Board members will consider the Lawrence school district’s portion of a neighborhood revitalization plan for Treanor Architects, which intends to locate its headquarters at 1040 Vt.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Monday at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive. The full agenda and links to reports is available here.

Lawrence city commissioners already have approved the city’s portion of the project, and Douglas County commissioners also will be asked to approve granting a break on its portion of anticipated additional tax revenues that would generated by the project.

A cost-benefit analysis conducted for the city and county shows that the district could expect to receive an additional $85,000 in revenue during the next 15 years as a result of the project, if the tax-break plan were approved. The plan wouldn’t cost the district anything, according to the report.

Board members will be expected to vote on the plan April 25.

Among other items on the agenda for Monday’s meeting:

• Consider approving new names for Lawrence’s junior high schools, effective July 1: Central Middle School, South Middle School, Southwest Middle School and West Middle School.

• Receive a report about transition activities for students at Wakarusa Valley School, which is set to close at the end of this school year.

• Receive a report about “Ongoing Cash Balance Reporting,” a plan to update reports monthly that detail the amount of money in each fund within the district budget.

• Discuss issues related to a recommendation from the Lawrence Elementary School Facility Vision Task Force, one that calls for consolidating six elementary schools into three or four within the next three to five years.

• Discuss possible expansion of full-day kindergarten programming.

• Discuss potential budget cuts for the 2011-12 academic year.

• Consider approving boundary changes to account for the closure of Wakarusa Valley School.


LeBo 7 years, 1 month ago

The poor don't lobby for tax abatements!

not_dolph 7 years, 1 month ago

LeBo - is that why we don't see ecological architecture pa in this story?

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 1 month ago

Apparently we'll give Ben whatever he asks for.

You know, Ben Dover?

Sharon Aikins 7 years, 1 month ago

Is that $85,000 per year or a total over 15 years. If a total, that's a whopping $5,667 a year. Maybe it's just me but I couldn't tell which it was from the article.

jackson5 7 years, 1 month ago

The city's analysis is incorrect. The School district will not (nor cannot) see increased tax revenues from this tax incentive. Tax revenues are established by the state and the district can not collect more than allowed by law. There will be no additional tax revenues to the district.

mfagan 7 years, 1 month ago

Hello, folks. A couple of notes: redmoonrising: The $85,000 would be the total expected increase in revenue over 15 years. And while your math is correct -- $5,667 per year -- it's not quite that simple. According to the proposal, the district would see only 5 percent of any increased tax revenue in each of year one, year two, year three and year four. Then, in year five, the district could expect to receive 15 percent of the additional taxes. The percentage would increase to 80 percent in year 10, before all additional taxes -- what folks involved in the project call the tax "increment" -- would go to the local governments each year going forward. By the time you get to 15 years out, the total amount of additional money over that 15-year period would be expected to add up to $85,000 for the district, according to the city's analysis. jackson5: The focus of the this increase is not on the portion of the mill levy that goes to the state. As it has been explained to me, the district's increased revenue in the city's analysis is related to the parts of the district budget -- such as capital outlay, local option, maybe others -- that generate tax revenues that stay in the district. In general, if a property's valuation increases, the property owner's tax bill goes up (assuming the tax rate doesn't decrease). Thus, the additional tax money is generated. Thanks... - Mark Fagan Schools reporter

jackson5 7 years, 1 month ago

The LOB is based upon a percentage of the state aid to schools. It is a sum certain fixed by the state each year. Increasing the property tax base will reduce the mill levy (which is good for taxpayers). However, expanding the property tax base will not bring in more LOB dollars. We will not increase the LOB revenue with this tax incentive.

I am very happy to be wrong on this and find out the district will have more funds. We desperately need it. However, if the Neighborhood Revitalization Act was a loophole around state funding limitations, I suspect that school districts around the state would be clamoring for more NRAs. Can you ask the city to post the entire analysis for the school district, rather than just the discounted cash flows?

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