September 16, 2015

School board issues new tax levy

By Daniel Arens

The fact that the upcoming fiscal year for the Hazen School District requires a new tax levy may seem at first glance to be an increased burden for district taxpayers. But in fact, the new levy reduces taxes in most scenarios.
The board called for a 0.50 percent increase in taxes, but noted that the number is deceptive. In reality, the board must raise $19,007 in total revenue to match their budget. The board will gain most of these additional funds through new growth within the district.
In fact, the actual mill levy for the 2015-16 fiscal year will decrease to 64.60 mills, from 68.87 mills assessed the previous year.
In practice, those properties that have seen their property value increase by more than 7.1 percent will see a slight raise in their property taxes, while properties that have had less than a 7.1 percent increase in value will not.
A public hearing was held during the school board meeting Sept. 14, but there was no argument against the tax levy proposal. The board approved the new 64.60 mill levy to fund the school district for the 2015-16 fiscal year.
The board denied a request for a tuition-free agreement that would allow the transfer of a student from the Center-Stanton School District to the Hazen School District without payment being made to Hazen. The board was willing to consider the transfer of the student, but only if either the Center-Stanton School District or the family is willing to pay any tuition costs.

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