After having done a community-wide survey and having many discussions, the board believes it’s necessary to place a ballot before the district voters asking for an increase in the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools’ operating referendum revenue on Election Day this November 2019. The recommendation is to increase the revenue by $750 per pupil. The recommended length of the question is five years with no inflationary increase included in the ballot language.
District Finance and Operations Director said that the annual tax impact is slightly less than first reported. The tax impact on a $200,000 will be $249 per year (or $20.75 per month). For agriculture property, taxes are based on the value of the home, garage and one acre. Seasonal recreational residential property (i.e. cabins) will not pay taxes for the proposed referendum.
Board Chair Dave Wilson was pleased with the number of people who showed up for the board meeting and stated, “We need this. We must get this passed and we will need your (the community’s) support.”
Board member Melissa Brings added that the board couldn’t risk going for more and have it fail. She noted that the margin was so slim, that they (the board members) believed the $750 amount would resonate better with the community and would have a better chance to pass.
“No one wants to create a financial hardship,” said board member Bob Sansevere. “Not one of us wants to ask for more money. It comes down to what is best for kids, and this is best for kids.”
District residents will be asked to go to the polls to vote on the levy on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5.
In further school board news, there are a number of student activities that are not part of the general fund and not considered to be under school board control.
Those accounts have been maintained separately from the general fund and are included in a separate audit report. The 2019 legislature, in response to Government Accounting Standards Board Statement 84, is now requiring school districts to bring those student activity accounts into the general fund and under school board control.
The Minnesota School Boards Association directs the district’s administration to implement the provisions of this new legislation effective with the 2019-20 fiscal year. The affected accounts are as follows:
• Arts Magnet program
• BHS Bounceback
• Classes of 2020 through 2023 (each has a separate account)
• National Honor Society
• Student Council
The accounts will operate similar to the previous requirements but now will be reported in the general fund and included in the regular audit report. The resolution will be brought back to the board on August 26 for final approval.