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District 196 board approves proposed tax levy for payable 2023 property taxes

The District 196 School Board, at its Sept. 26 regular meeting, approved a proposed 2022 (payable 2023) property tax levy at the maximum amount allowed by the state. The proposed levy is $132,640,542, an increase of $7,874,520 or 6.3% compared to the levy for payable 2022 property taxes. 

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) calculates the maximum levy limitation for each public school district in the state. By law, the final levy approved by the board in December may not be greater than the proposed levy, except for adjustments made by the state and voter-approved operating levy increases.

The 2022 property tax levy will provide revenue for the 2023-24 school year. For many of the individual levy categories that make up the district’s total tax levy, there is corresponding state aid that would be reduced if the district levied less than the maximum amount in those categories.

In mid-November, Dakota County will mail notices to individual property owners showing estimated taxes based on proposed levies approved by the school district, cities, the county and other taxing agencies. The School Board will certify the district’s final 2022 property tax levy after holding a truth-in-taxation hearing during its Dec. 12 regular meeting.

Director of Finance and Operations Mark Stotts said the biggest factors for the overall levy increase are a projected increase in enrollment, the annual inflationary adjustment to the district’s 2019 voter-approved operating levy, and a $2 million increase in deferred maintenance projects deemed critical for next year compared to a typical year.    

Stotts said the district’s tax capacity and market capacity rates increased by more than 16%, meaning district taxes are spread over a larger tax base. He said the tax impact on any particular property will depend on its assessed value and whether it increased over last year.

Local property taxes represent approximately 24% of the operating revenues District 196 will receive this year. The other sources are state aids and credits (70%), federal aid (5%) and the remaining 1% from other sources that include self-insurance, gifts, donations and miscellaneous revenues such as food service fees, activity fees and admissions.