USD 409 patrons will see a mill levy reduction on a few cents less on their tax bills for the 2019-20 school year expected to generate more than $4.9 million in tax revenue from taxpayers in the district.

USD 409 Board of Education members expect to hear comments from during a public hearing on the budget at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, in the community room at the board office located at 626 Commercial St. The proposed mill levy is 54.385 mills, which is a decrease of 0.189 from the previous school year.

Lori Lanter estimated each mill is equal to about $90,000. Lanter’s estimate is based on the latest assessed valuation figures calculated from the Atchison County Clerk’s Office. The final assessed valuation for the school district from the 2018 abstract was more than $93.5 million. Of that amount more than $4.6 million is subject to the Atchison County Neighborhood Revitalization and Tax Rebate Incentive Program.

Board members approved the proposed budget for publication during their special meeting Wednesday, Aug. 7 seeking authority not to exceed an amount less than $37.2 million in budgeted expenditures for the current school year. This is an increase of about $7.8 million from the actual expenditures in the past schoolyear.

Business Manager Lori Lanter presented the budget along with some explanations. The district utilizes 17 separate funds divided into operating funds and special revenue funds. School districts are authorized to levy property taxes for selected funds. USD 409 Atchison Public Schools are authorized to levy property taxes for four of its funds:

The general fund for operations, a uniform 20-mill levy fund required by the state shown on line 06. It’s expected to generate revenue of less than $12.9 million in comparison to the $12 million for the past school year, an increase of $745,032.

The Supplemental General Fund, the LOB, local option budget is represented on line 08.

The district proposes to levy 15.568 mills to generate more than $3.9 million, which is an increase of $98,943 from the past school year.

The district is seeking authority to utilize the 5-mill maximum to fund the Capital Outlay Fund, line 16, and the deposit of interest earned from idle funds. The monies in this fund are utilized for construction, re-construction, remodeling, repairs, equipment purchases, maintenance, uniforms, and maintenance and custodian salaries. Lanter emphasized the importance to fully fund this particular fund. The buildings in the district are aging, Lanter said, and reminded district leaders the new Atchison Elementary School is more than 20 years old.

Districts may seek authority to raise the capital outlay budget to 8 mills, board members agreed it might be something for them to explore in the near future, and directed Lanter to gather information for other districts about the same size as 409 from throughout the state.

The Bond & Interest Fund No. 1 on line 62 is a levy fund authorized by voter approval. State aid is based on valuation per pupil. For 409 is funds up to 54 percent, which is a 2 percent increase from the past school year. District leaders propose a 13.800 mill levy that is a .053 mill decrease.

Owners of a $100,000 home can expect to pay about $625.43 in USD 409 property taxes for the current schoolyear. This is a 29-cent decrease from the previous school year.

However, in addition to the school taxes, USD 409 taxpayers are subject to the Atchison Recreation Commission tax ley attached to the school district’s budget. The REC is seeking budget authority for $508,193 in expenditures.

Of that amount the REC proposes to levy $290,438 in taxes for the current school year, which reflects a decrease of which shows a $151,236 decrease from the past schoolyear. The REC requested mill levy on the current proposed budget is 3.054 mills, less than a mill decrease from the previous budget. This means in addition to the school district taxes an owner of a $100,000 house will pay $35.12 to cover the REC property tax levy.

The total 409 debt by way of General Obligation Bonds is steadily decreasing. It was an expenditure listed at less than $17.4 million in 2018-19. For the 2019-20 school year checks in at more than $16.1 million.The mill levy has also decreased throughout the past six years.

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