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Brainerd School Board: Proposed levy shows reduction

Brainerd School Board members met together for a special meeting Thursday afternoon to review the first proposed levy for tax year 2013.

Director of Business Services Steve Lund presented a rundown of levy history, showing a wide variety of change, including jumping from $15,786,225 in 2011 to $16,845,880 in 2012. But instead of an increase, Lund said this year’s levy will reflect a reduction.

“When you look at the three categories that go into the levy — general fund, community education and debt service — when those things go down, then that’s going to affect our levy as a whole,” said Lund.

Lund presented board members with a proposed 2013 levy total of $16,755,562, a decrease of approximately $90,318 from the 2012 levy. Equaling that total is a general fund — which represents 10 percent of the total revenue — of $7,241,765, a community education — accounting for 25 percent of total revenue — at $587,755 and a debt service — representing 100 percent of total revenue — of $8,926,042.

“What we have to remember here as we look at what we (the district) are proposing here today is the dollar amount of our levy and how that relates to taxpayers really comes down to two different things,” said Lund. “Number one is how much the levy is and number two, how much of that tax base is being spread across.

“The taxpayer impact isn’t necessarily how much we have amounted in the levy.”

The levy proposed and certified in 2012 are for taxes payable in calendar year 2013 and the revenue the district receives is recognized in the district’s fiscal year 2014 budget — July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.

Lund said the proposed levy also includes a $134,000 projected reduction in general fund revenue for school year 2013-14, resulting in roughly a 2 percent reduction in the general fund of the district’s annual levy. He added that in the proposal, the overall levy is being reduced by approximately .5 percent.

The levy amount proposed is the maximum, with changes able to be made between now and the final levy decision in December.

JESSI PIERCE, staff writer, may be reached at 855-5859 or Follow her on Twitter at (@jessi_pierce).