BY SUE AUSTRENG – ECM PUBLISHERS
Anoka-Hennepin School Board members unanimously adopted the property tax levy final certification Dec. 10.
Thanks to the condition of the school district’s buildings and grounds, budgets were balanced and the $98,561,191.65 levy limit (payable 2013) is a $10,170 decrease over the prior year.
“You did a great job balancing the cost measures and allowing for our ‘pay for performance’ money that’s budgeted next year,” School Board Chairman Tom Heidemann said to Chief Financial Officer Michelle Vargas after the vote was taken.
Vargas pointed to the “excellent condition” of building and grounds, indicating that capital debts will diminish over time and would make alternative teacher compensation money (more than $2.5 million) available.
Specifically, the 2013 levy looks like this:
• General fund: $72,567,160, a $410,644 decrease from payable 2012 numbers.
• Community service fund: $3,109,434, a $2,714 increase from payable 2012 numbers.
• Debt service fund: $20,721,013, a $285,570 increase from payable 2012 numbers.
• OPEB debt service fund: $2,163,584, an increase of $112,190 from payable 2012 numbers
School district funds
As outlined by Vargas, all school district budgets are divided into separate funds, based on purposes of revenue, as required by law. Those funds are defined as follows.
• General fund: the primary operating budget for the district. It includes educational activities, district instructional and student support programs, district administration, normal operations and maintenance, pupil transportation and capital expenditures.
• Food service fund: used to record financial activities of the school district’s food service program.
• Community service fund: used to record all financial activities associated with the various instructional, recreational and community service programs.
• Capital projects fund: used for the acquisition or construction of major capital facilities that are funded by the sale of bonds, capital loans or the alternative-bonding program.
• Debt service fund: used to record revenues and expenditures for the school district’s outstanding bonded indebtedness.
• Trust fund: used to record revenues and expenditures for trust agreements where the school board has accepted the responsibility to serve as trustee.
Property tax comparisons for payable 2012 compared with payable 2013 show that a home with a market value of $100,000 paid $503 in property tax in 2012. That home, if still valued at $100,000, will pay $539 in 2013, or an increase of $35.
For a home with a market value of $250,000, property tax payable in 2012 totaled $1,667. Property tax payable in 2013 for that home comes to $1,815, or an increase of $149.
On the other hand, if a home valued at $100,000 in 2012 is depreciated in value by 6.69 percent to $93,307 in 2013, payable property tax would be $426, or a decrease of $12 from payable 2012 property tax.
Along those lines, the owner of the $250,000 home depreciated in value to $233,267 would pay $1,213 in 2013, or $11 less than property tax payable in 2012.
Two property tax refund programs are available, Vargas said, the Minnesota Property Tax Refund (aka Circuit Breaker refund) and the Special Property Tax Refund.
For more information on those refunds, contact a tax professional; visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue at taxes.state.mn.us or call the department at 651-296-4444.