Archive for Friday, August 11, 2006

School district seeks increase in mill levy

August 11, 2006

Lansing school officials have submitted a 2006-07 budget that would levy an increase of nearly 2 mills on the district's property owners.

The Lansing School Board, at its meeting Monday, will consider setting a public hearing on the proposed budget for 7 p.m. Aug. 21. At that time, members of the public will be able to voice their opinion on the spending plan.

The proposed budget, distributed to board members ahead of Monday's meeting, calls for expenditures of $23.04 million for the year, up from the $19.47 million spent in 2005-06.

It also includes an increase of 1.974 mills from a year ago. A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in assessed valuation.

Superintendent Randal Bagby said taxpayers should look at the district's recent history before complaining about a mill levy increase.

"If memory serves our public they'll remember the approximate 4.5-mill decrease from two years ago. We have been working the last three years to make the mill rate more stable from year to year - we're almost there," he said.

Bagby also wanted patrons to remember the budget was merely a spending plan; the district probably won't spend the entire $23 million in the coming 12 months. But state law requires districts to budget for both expected and unexpected items.

"For example," Bagby said, "last year we spent $294,105 in capital, but we budgeted over a million (dollars). We do this just in case something unexpected comes up we will have the budget authority to take care of it."

The budget shows a picture of healthy growth in the district. It puts the total valuation of property in the Lansing district at $97.6 million; that's up from $87.9 million a year ago. The district also forecasts that full-time equivalency enrollment will be 2,165 students, up from 2,154 a year earlier.

The 2006 Kansas Legislature approved an increase in the base state aid from $4,257 to $4,316 per pupil.

Monday's board meeting is at 7 p.m. in the music room at Lansing Middle School, 509 W. Ida St.

For more on the budget, check back at lansingcurrent.com after Monday's meeting or pick up the Aug. 17 edition of The Current.

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