Robbinsdale School Board approves preliminary levy

The Robbinsdale School Board unanimously approved the preliminary levy with a 0.94% decrease at the Sept. 21 meeting.

The Robbinsdale School Board unanimously approved the preliminary levy certification payable in 2021, at the maximum level. The levy is a 0.94% or $618,025.04 decrease from 2020.

Virginia Verbrugge, the district’s assistant finance director, and Kelly Smith, a director at Baker Tilly, presented the preliminary levy information at the Sept. 21 board meeting.

The long-term facilities maintenance component of the levy, which decreased 91.61% from 2020, is being double checked, Smith said. They believe some information wasn’t included in the preliminary budget because a piece of data was missing and are expecting revised information from the district, he added.

It is expected that the levy will break even or there will be a slight increase when all the adjustments are made, he said. The current levy total is $64.9 million. The previous year’s levy was $65.5 million.

The referendum is the largest portion, said Verbrugge, which is $21.8 million for the 2021-22 year. The local optional component is the second largest, at $8.7 million.

One of the largest changes to the levy this year is the adjustment component, Smith said, which decreased by 84.9% or $2,104,288.36.

The preliminary levy is based on assumptions that the finance office must make regarding enrollment and expenses. Once the levy is set and the school year happens, the district will report final enrollment numbers and expenses, he said. It can be adjusted either by providing additional levy in future years if it was under or take away levy dollars if the district asked for more than enrollment justified, he added.

By certifying at the maximum level, district officials can make adjustments into October as long as they are completed before the final levy is set, he said.

A truth in taxation hearing to discuss the final levy is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7. The board will certify the final levy at its meeting Monday, Dec. 21.

Adoption of a school district budget policy

In its second reading, the board unanimously approved the establishment and adoption of the school district budget policy at the meeting.

The board had a procedure in place for the adoption of the budget, said Board Member John Vento. It was a recommendation by the Office of the State Auditor to change it from a procedure to a policy, he added.

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