Gwaltney Scott

Board President Herb Gwaltney, left, comments on the USD 409 budget as Superintendent Renee Scott reviews the document before its adoption Wednesday evening.

Within a few minutes after they assembled the USD 409 Board of Education members adopted the proposed USD 409 Budget for the 2019-20 school year as presented by a 6-0 vote.

The action came Wednesday, Aug. 21, after Business Manager Lori Lanter offered board members and audience members a brief review of what board members had previously published by way of a legal notice along with the time, date and place of the public hearing for comment.

No objections were heard before board members’ vote to approve the authority to spend about $37.1 million in budgeted expenditures throughout the new school year with expectations that the adopted 54.385 mill levy will generate less than $5 million from property tax collections within district boundaries.

This means owners of a house valued at $100,000 are likely to pay $625.43 to the 409 coffer for the current school year. It is a difference of about .29 cents from the previous year. These homeowners can expect to pay an additional $35.12 in property taxes relating to the 3.054 mills the Atchison Recreation Commission levied to generate $290,438 in taxes. By statute, the REC’s budget is attached to the school district’s budget. The REC has budget authority not to exceed $508,193 to cover expenditures.

Each mill in the budget is equivalent to $90,000 based on the 2019 assessed valuation computations calculated by the Atchison County Clerk’s Office from the 2018 abstract. The newly adopted mill levy shows a 0.189 decrease from the previous year.

The district utilizes 17 separate funds divided into operating funds and special revenue funds, Lanter previously reported. Schools districts are authorized to levy property taxes for selected funds. USD 409 Schools are authorized to levy taxes for four of its funds: the General Fund for operations, the state required 20-mill levy fund; the Supplemental General Fund, commonly referred to as the local option budget, known as the LOB; the Capital Outlay Fund; and The Bond & Interest Fund No. 1.

Board President Herb Gwaltney said the mill levy rate has remained mostly flat throughout the past four years.

The district has managed to hold the mill levy rate in line because of the climb in the assessed valuation of recent years, Lanter said.

Board member John Eplee, was present for the discussion and subsequent action via telephone. Board member Sean Crittendon was absent from the hearing.

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