The Anoka-Hennepin School Board approved a preliminary property tax levy with a proposed increase of 1.21%.

The proposed levy is just over $123 million, about $1.47 million more than this year’s finalized budget, Chief Financial Officer Michelle Vargas said. The board unanimously approved the measure Sept. 27.

Any major changes to the proposed amount will be discussed at the Truth in Taxation meeting scheduled for Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Sandburg Education Center. The district will send out more information regarding the levy in the mail.

The proposed general fund is expected to increase by $1.48 million, or about 1.45% compared to last year.

The community service fund should decrease by 2.69%, or $115,971.

2021 referendum

The district will have three questions on the November ballot about renewing the $34.5 million referendum.

“You have to vote to let your voice be heard,” Communications Director Jim Skelly said.

Only one of those questions — the capital projects levy — will impact taxes payable next year, Vargas said. The remaining two questions are for taxes payable in 2023.

The district’s operating levy is set to expire at the end of 2022.

Question 1 would renew 9.3% of the school district’s operating budget. If this question is not approved, the district would need to make drastic cuts in and out of the classroom to make up for the loss in revenue.

Question 2 is the capital projects levy, which funds technology in the classroom, like computers, internet access and audio-enhanced classrooms.

Question 3 means Anoka-Hennepin could continue mental health and academic support for students. These services were initially federally funded in response to the pandemic and expires in the 2022-23 school year.

Question 3 can be approved only if Question 1 is approved.

The first two questions are renewals and would keep taxes the same. Question 3 would result in a tax increase that amounts to less than $10 a month for owners of a $250,000 home, Assistant Communications Director Heather Peters said.

The district has a tax impact calculator on its website at ahschools.us/vote2021 where homeowners can get detailed estimates.

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