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School board drops levy another 7 cents
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School board drops levy another 7 cents

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ASHLAND – The total tax levy for the Ashland-Greenwood School District went down more than originally expected for the 2020-21 budget year.

The Board of Education passed the budget during a meeting on Monday at the high school. There it was revealed that the total levy will be $0.924 per $100 of valuation, seven cents lower than the 2019-20 total levy, which was $0.9954.

The total levy includes the general fund, bond fund and special building funds. The levies for each of these funds are as follows: general fund $0.765, bond fund $0.04, special building fund $0.12.

The proposed budget and tax rates published in the Gazette on Sept. 3 were different than the final figures passed on Monday. Superintendent Jason Libal said the fact that the district’s property valuation rose more than anticipated and the district received an unexpected increase in state aid helped boost the budget and lower the levy.

Property valuation was up 7%, to $913,817,254. In the past few years, the district has been fortunate to receive favorable valuation increases that have ranged from 5 to 10%, Libal said. So 7% was not out of line, especially given the residential growth and new construction the district is experiencing, he added.

What the district didn’t expect was a $200,000 boost in state aid this year. Libal said the district received $922,074 in state aid in 2019-20. The figure is $1,123,900 for the new budget year. The increase is in part because there are more students in the district, he added.

Libal said the school board felt there was enough flexibility to reduce the general fund and still be able to operate at a comfortable level.

“With the combination of increased valuation and strong state aid coming, the board felt they could take the general fund down even more,” the superintendent said.

The board also took the opportunity to levy another two cents into the special building fund. The proposed levy was $0.10, but the levy was increased to $0.12 for the final vote.

Libal said the fund will be used to help offset a possible bond to expand the district’s facilities. Voters will decide on the proposed $59 bond during the General Election on Nov. 3.

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