Most homeowners to see lower District 196 taxes

by Jessica Harper
Thisweek Newspapers

Most homeowners can expect a smaller tax bill this year from the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District.

On Sept. 26, the School Board unanimously approved a payable 2012 property tax levy limit of $75.8 million, which is 3.38 percent less than the payable 2011 levy.

“This will be good for our taxpayers,” School Board Member Rob Duchscher said.

The decision was prompted by news that District 196 will receive additional state aid in the future.

The state promised the district an extra $50 per pupil this school year and another $50 per pupil in 2012-13.

This amounts to $1.5 million each year in additional revenue, Finance Director Jeff Solomon said.

District 196 will receive $2.96 million in compensatory funding starting in 2012-13.

The state Legislature passed the one-time money for 20 districts with the largest enrollment aside from Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth.

District 196 is expected to receive the largest sum of this money, Solomon said.

The district also expects to receive $1.63 million in literacy aid for 2012-13. This aid is based on the literacy achievement of third- and fourth-graders.

The elimination of the market value homestead credit is another reason the district decided to lower its property tax levy, Solomon said.

MVHC previously provided a credit on some homeowners’ property tax bills, and without it some could see their property taxes increase even if their home value declined.

Solomon estimates that most homeowners in District 196 will pay less or the same in district taxes this year if their home value follows the market trends.

Home values in the district are expected to drop 6.4 percent this year, which is more than the state average of 5.3 percent.

This is the third consecutive year property values have fallen faster than the state average, Solomon said.

“But the rate is slowing,” he added.

Solomon noted that home values in the district climbed faster than those statewide during the housing boom.

“Now it is correcting itself,” he said.

The School Board can lower the property tax levy upon its final approval, but cannot increase it.

Last month, the School
Board also decided against sending a levy referendum for voter approval.

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