The Anoka-Hennepin School District has approved its 2022 property tax levy with a 4.86% increase over last year. The School Board approved the $127.4 million property tax levy Dec. 13.
A major factor in the increase over 2021 was the capital projects referendum, which voters approved in November to pay for technology. Voters renewed the levy for 10 years at the same level previously authorized. But the district had forgone collecting taxes for the capital projects levy for the third time in 2021 in order to mitigate tax increases on property owners. The School Board authorized other district funds to pay for technology in 2021.
In 2022 the district will once again collect the capital projects levy, which will bring in about $4.4 million.
An increase in the district’s tax base was also a significant factor in the 2022 levy increase, according to Chief Financial Officer Michelle Vargas. That’s because the tax base increase caused a shift from aid to levy, meaning the district receives less equalization aid from the state, resulting in a higher levy on local taxpayers due to formulas in state law.
The voter-approved general referendum levy increased by $2.8 million. About $1 million was due to inflationary increases built into the levy, and the rest was thanks to the aid-to-levy shift, Vargas said.
The aid-to-levy shift also affected the operating capital levy, used for textbooks and equipment, which increased by about $312,000. And it affected the career technical levy, used for career and technical high school expenses; that levy went up about $442,000, partially due to the shift and also because additional qualified programs were added to the curriculum, Vargas said.
General fund adjustments were down by about $885,000 compared to 2021, due to enrollment verification, changes in property valuations and more, Vargas said.
The district is levying only $50,000 for reemployment insurance, down from $500,000 last year, Vargas said. The amount decreased significantly because the district was able to better estimate the pandemic impact this year compared to last year, she said.
The long-term facilities maintenance levy decreased by about $250,000 for 2022 due to a reduction in the number of students, she said.