BSD approves 2021 tax levy, certifies $9.77 mill rate

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While presenting the budget for the School District of Bangor at its annual meeting, Superintendent David Brokopp started with all the factors that have positively impacted the district’s budget. 

Bangor is seeing an increase in enrollment that is positively impacting the budget for the district as well as an increase in equalization aid from the state. 

“More money from the state means less money that we need to depend on from our community,” said Brokopp, adding that emergency education relief finds, known as ESSER, will continue to be helpful for the district to supplement existing costs associated with the pandemic.

The equalized value of the entire district is also increasing, not only through property values increasing by over 9% but new building and development within the district to help distribute the burden over a larger area.

The work of the board and the district has been to maintain a stable mill rate; last year’s $9.74 was a 10-year low. This year’s proposed mill rate is $9.77 for a $.03 increase.

“It’s still a good number and lower than the previous nine years before last year,” Brokopp said.

The proposed budget will continue to prepay debt and position the district well for future projects that will result in little to no additional tax impact for the taxpayers. 

“With our continued enrollment growth and our aging facilities, this is an incredibly important factor as we look at the budget,” Brokopp added. 

The district presented a balanced budget for the 2021-22 school year with both revenues and expenditures at $10,656,251. 

According to Brokopp, these numbers will change as actual costs incur, revenues are received, and expenditures are paid. In both 2019 and 2020, the district’s revenues exceeded the district’s expenditures, which has allowed the district to pay down debt and save the district money in interest.

It has also allowed the district to allocate more funds for Fund 46 that will fund future maintenance projects. 

When looking at revenues, the district saw an increase of over $134,000 from transfers in and interdistrict payments due in large part to open enrollment and the enrollment formulas.

Revenue from local sources increased by $145,000 from an increased tax levy due to the increased enrollment. Revenue from the state increased by over $221,000; revenue from federal sources decreased by over $371,000 because ESSER funds are not figured into that.

Total revenues decreased from $10,819,848 in 2020-21 to $10,656,251 for the 2021-22 budget.

Total expenditures increased from $10,599,403 in 2020-21 to $10,656,251 for the 2021-22 budget. The district saw some fluctuation in curriculum costs due primarily to staffing changes and salary increases.

One larger increase was for pupil transportation from $332,098 to $416,765, which was from the purchase of a new bus. 

The total limited revenue this year is $2,662,954 and the referendum-approved debt is $820,800 for a total 2021 tax levy of $3,483,754 with a certified mill rate of $9.77. 

“The actual tax levy is up a little bit but also distributed over a larger equalized value,” Brokopp said. “That’s how the levy rate can stay about the same.”

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