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School levy up 3.27 percent

Randy Bergquist

The maximum allowable tax levy for the Osakis School District was certified to the county auditor at the School Board's Truth in Taxation meeting held Monday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. The levy is $1,695,474.07, an increase of 3.27 percent for 2018, or an increase of $53,645 from last year's levy.

Supt. Randy Bergquist gave a slide presentation on the district's taxation process to a meager audience, which included the board members, press, and one citizen, Bill Bjerke.

Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 fund balances totaled $4,418,774. Long term debt for the same period totaled $9,425,000.

FY 2017 actual revenues and transfers in totaled $10,494,928. Actual fund balances as of June 30, 2017, for all funds amounted to $4,769,666.

FY budget revenues and transfers in are projected at $10,385,847, with projected expenditures and transfers out of $10,460,375.

Projected fund balance on June 30, 2018, for all funds is $4,695,138.

Bergquist explained that the State Aid per student, which is $9,468, is added to the Osakis School District levy of $551, for a total of $10,019.

Bergquist told the meeting that Osakis' Local Option Revenue is set at $300, which is very low, compared to the state averages and area school districts. The maximum LOR allowed for Osakis is $424 per pupil unit, but the district does not levy that, because "we don't need it at this time," Bergquist said.

Local Option Revenue was established by the School Board several years ago, and is the levy amount the state allows without a special election. The LOR average in the state is $1,159.

A portion of the raise in the 2018 levy is attributed to the Long Term Facility Maintenance program passed in 2015. This is a 10-year maintenance program to keep the district facilities up to date.

"We actually are getting more in State Aid than we levy on our taxpayers," Bergquist told the board.