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EM school tax levy to decrease by 2.2 percent

By LeAnn R. Ralph

ELK MOUND — The school tax levy approved by electors at the Elk Mound school district is $63,000 less than last year’s levy, representing a 2.2 percent decrease.

Electors approved a levy of $2,817,668 at the district’s annual meeting August 26.

The $2.8 million levy compares to last year’s levy of $2.88 million.

The increase in the levy last year was due to a decrease in state aid.

The tax levy for 2013-2014 will decrease by $63,240, while state aid is expected to increase by about $240,000.

State aid for 2013-2014 will amount to $7.89 million, compared to $7.67 million last year.

Unlike many districts in the state with a decreasing student enrollment, the Elk Mound school district has been experiencing an increase in enrollment.

According to mill rate projections provided at the annual meeting, the mill rate for 2013-2014 is expected to be $9.97 per $1,000 of property value, compared to last year’s mill rate of $10.30 per $1,000 of property value.

The decrease in the mill rate will amount to a decrease in school property taxes of $32.90 per $100,000 of property value.

The Elk Mound school district is expected to have a slight increase in property values for 2013-2014 for a total of approximately $282.5 million.

Last year’s equalized value was $279.6 million.

The Elk Mound district has lost property value over the last several years. The first decrease in equalized value was a loss of 1.9 percent in 2010-2011, with a total equalized value of $290.86 million.

Over the last ten years, the Elk Mound school district’s highest equalized value was $296.5 million in 2009-2010.

In 2003-2004, the district’s equalized value was $212.1 million.

Expenditures for the general fund budget for this 2013-2014 are $11.03 million, compared to $10.79 million last year.

Other business

In other business at the Elk Mound school district’s annual meeting, electors decided to keep the salaries the same for the Elk Mound Board of Education.

School board officers receive $1,500 for the year, which was set in 2009.

School board members receive $1,300, also set in 2009.

In addition, board members receive $90 per day, plus actual and necessary expenses, for travel outside of the school district.