At its Dec. 14 meeting, the BHM Board of Education approved the 2020 payable 2021 tax levy of $20,133,550.06. The levy total is $497,197 more, or an increase of 3.26% (in total school property taxes) than the pay 2020 levy.

During the truth-in-taxation presentation, Director of Finance and Operations Gary Kawlewski said that taxpayers likely saw an increase in residential homestead valuations due to county assessments. The taxable market value for the district as a whole is up an estimated 7.83% while the net tax capacity value is up an estimated 7.84%. As a result, most individual taxpayers will see some form of an increase in the school portion of their property taxes.

The increase this year is mostly due to the changes in the state aid equalization for many levy categories. Many of the district’s levy categories have a levy and state aid component. The levy portion typically goes up as the valuation of the district goes up. The aid portion will go down in a corresponding fashion. The district is under-levying in the debt excess reduction category by $300,000 to minimize the tax impact and reduce the fund balance in the debt service fund. There is a reduction in the district’s lease levy category since there is no longer a PRIDE lease and the final payment is being made on the Phoenix lease.

There have also been some changes in expenditure estimates for some current levy components. The district also has some prior year levy adjustments for some levy components that are based on actual expenditures.

Kawlewski said for the school portion of a resident’s property tax bill, that residents are getting a good value. BHM Schools continue to be in the middle on property tax values compared to other surrounding districts. Based on a $200,000 home, BHM Schools is at $956 where Elk River is the highest at $1,487 and Monticello is the lowest at $666.

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