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District 196 approves proposed property tax levy increase of 1.5 percent  

ROSEMOUNT, Minn. – The District 196 School Board approved a proposed 2019 (payable 2020) property tax levy increase of 1.5 percent. Based on calculations provided by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), the district’s maximum proposed levy for payable 2020 property taxes is $96,771,258, which is $1.5 million or 1.5 percent more than the current levy of $95,300,391.

The maximum levy limitation is calculated by MDE for each public school district in the state. By law, the final levy amount may not be greater than the proposed levy, except for adjustments made by the state and operating levy increases approved by voters.

District 196 is asking voters to revoke the existing levy referendum authority approved by voters in 2013 and replace it with a new 10-year levy that would provide an additional $19 million in fiscal year 2020, with annual inflationary adjustments. If the levy is approved in the Nov. 5 school district election, the additional revenue would allow the district to avoid more budget cuts and make improvements to classroom staffing, mental health support and the addition of after-school activity bus transportation.

The district will now submit its proposed levy to Dakota County, which will mail notices to property owners in mid-November showing estimated taxes based on proposed levies approved by the school district, cities, the county and other taxing agencies. Because of the short time between the Nov. 5 election and when the notices are mailed, they will not include the tax impact of the levy referendum question, if approved. The taxes would be included in the final levy, which will be certified by the School Board after holding a truth-in-taxation hearing during its Dec. 9 regular meeting.

Local property taxes represent approximately 20 percent of operating revenues District 196 will receive this year. The other sources are state aids and credits (74 percent), federal aid (3 percent) and the remaining 3 percent from other sources such as self-insurance, gifts, donations and miscellaneous revenues such as food service fees, activity fees and admissions.