The Robbinsdale School board unanimously approved a preliminary tax levy with an increase of up to 6.99% for the 2020-21 fiscal year at the regular board meeting Sept. 23. The levy totals, $69,519,000 with an increase of $4,539,000 from last year. Exact numbers will be finalized in early to mid-October and will be finalized in December. 

Robbinsdale Area Schools executive director of finance, Greg Hein, presented the matter to the board.

“There are multiple phases to the property tax levy, this is not the first step in the process but it is a step in the process,” Hein said.

The increase is the maximum increase authorized and may be subject to change as the levy process continues. This decision will give the district flexibility in the process.

“It doesn’t mean that we are going to levy the maximum amount, but it gives us the flexibility to be able to levy up to the maximum amount,” Hein said. “It’s very prudent and responsible at this time to certify the maximum, give us the most flexibility and as we start to get more information on what the final numbers will be, we will certainly be sharing that.”

In his presentation, Hein outlined what can lead to changes in school property taxes. He notes, property value changes, changes in state aid, adjustments in data from prior levies, enrollment and cost.

“There’s a lot of things that can affect individual property tax statement,” Hein said. “It’s affected by enrollment, higher enrollment, because a lot of the levies are based on number of students. Higher enrollment means increasing property levy and vice versa, declining enrollment would cause the contrary.”

The preliminary tax levy information will be mailed to residents in October and November, with a final levy expected to be set at the Monday, Dec. 16, board meeting.

“This winter, by the end of December we’ll be coming back and certifying the final levy,” Hein said.

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