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One thought on “SKSD Budget Available to the Public July 10

  1. Clicking this link will take you to the “pdf” file of the preliminary budget.

    On page 5 of 23, you will find a graph showing the approximate increases in total property valuation in each year from 2001 through 2007.

    According to that graph, in each of the years 2005 and 2006, total property valuation increased by more than 15 percent.

    In 2007 — for just this year, not for some cumulative period — the increase was about 24 percent according to the graph.

    Taking the actual figures from the county assessor’s web page, total property valuation increased by 14.95 percent in 2005, 16.8 percent in 2006, and 24.18 percent in 2007.

    It is not correct to say, as the article does, that total property valuation increased by “nearly 10 percent since 2005.”

    The actual yearly increases in 2005 through 2007 have all been more than 10 percent — so it isn’t even a matter of confusing an annual increase with a cumulative increase.

    I cannot figure out where you got the 10 percent figure.

    The effect of soaring property valuation in the past 3 years has been to reduce our tax rate to a level that makes it appear we don’t need as much of a “local effort” to provide local M&O levy funding to the school district.

    The “local effort assistance” funding from the state (which we usually call “levy equalization” funding) uses the tax rate needed to add 12 percent to SKSD’s regular state and federal funding. Comparing that tax rate to the statewide average tax rate for a 12-percent M&O levy provides a ratio used to determine how much levy equalization funding SKSD will receive.

    Since SKSD total property valuation increased by so much in each of the past 3 years, our 12-percent levy rate went down relative to the statewide average. So, our levy equalization went down, too.

    It’s obviously not a perfect system of determining how much “local effort assistance” is needed, since total personal income didn’t increase anywhere near the large increases in property valuation.

    But it is certainly better than nothing from the viewpoint of local taxpayers.

    It causes a problem for the school district, since — as the article points out — SKSD cannot increase the levy between elections to offset the reduction in levy equalization funding.

    When the levy equalization funding goes down, SKSD has to adjust their spending plans to make up the difference. (It was obviously nicer to adjust upward in some past years, when levy equalization funding went up; but the system necessarily includes some “downs” to go with those “ups.”)

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