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Another day, another missed Minnesota legislative deadline

Board keeps level of taxes below other districts

The Brainerd School Board recently reviewed the school district’s proposed amount it will receive from local property taxes in 2013.

We are grateful for the support of voters last November, increasing the level of local funding for our schools and bringing stability in providing the opportunities our students deserve.

As part of this year’s process of reviewing the amount of local school taxes for 2013, I also researched whether the amount paid by our local taxpayers for our schools is appropriate in comparison to what property owners are paying in other school districts and communities comparable to ours.

For 2013, the owner of a $150,000 home in our district will see the school portion of their taxes at approximately $470/year. On average, this amount for other school districts in our conference (Willmar, Moorhead, Alexandria, St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, and

Bemidji) is expected to be about $560/year.

In addition to reviewing whether the amount that local property owners pay is comparable, we certainly cannot forget to factor a community’s ability to pay in best determining whether the amount of our local levy is appropriate. According to 2010 census data, the average median household income for the comparable districts in our conference is $40,534. When factoring a weighted average between Baxter and Brainerd, our median household income is also very comparable at approximately $39,509.

As we all continue to face the current economic realities, we stand prepared to look for further efficiencies and innovative ways to stretch the impact these local dollars have on our students, our schools and our community.

Yet, as part of this, we are also proud to demonstrate by comparison that these continued efforts are also keeping the level of our local school taxes at or below other communities similar to ours.

Steve Lund – Director of Business Services, Brainerd Public Schools