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School levy increase at 3 percent

Randy Bergquist

At a special board meeting Wednesday, Sept. 27, Osakis School Board members approved the maximum tax levy of $1,695,474.

Superintendent Randy Bergquist said in an interview Thursday that the school district always requests the maximum for the preliminary levy as it can always be lowered. However, once the preliminary levy is approved, the district can't raise it.

The 2017 payable 2018 preliminary levy is up about 3.2 percent from the 2016 payable 2017 levy, which was $1,641,830. Bergquist said the 3 percent is "pretty normal" for school districts.

A breakdown of the levy shows $490,216 for the General Fund; $47,659 for Community Service; $1,078,586 for General Debt Service; and $79,013 for OPEB Debt Service.

The school district could approve up to $724 per pupil unit for its referendum value, but that the board approved $300, which is well below the state average.

He said he also pointed out to school members that the school district receives more money from the state instead of from taxpayers. He said the district doesn't want to burden the taxpayers. The referendum levy amount from the state is $166,000, while the levy amount from the taxpayers is $103,000.

The final levy will be approved at annual Truth in Taxation meeting, which has been set for Monday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. She enjoys running and has participated in nearly 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon distances.

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