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School District's share of taxes will go up

Tax bills will go in different directions next year for residents of the Farmington and Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school districts.

Farmington residents will pay less. Rosemount residents will pay more.

Thanks largely to changes made this year by the Minnesota legislature, the Farmington School Board on Monday approved a payable 2014 property tax levy of $18,489,700, a $428,542 reduction from the $18,918,152 levy the board approved last year.

Because of some bond refunding, that levy is also smaller than the one listed on the property tax statements sent to residents earlier this year.

The biggest reason for the reduction in the Farmington district’s levy is the addition of new equalization aid from the state of Minnesota. The legislature also added a $424-per-student location equity levy that provided an additional $1,756,108 to the district.

Both of those changes allowed the district to reduce the amount it asked residents to pay.

Because of the reduction in the district’s levy, residents will pay less for the school portion of its property tax bill. While numbers the district presented Monday do not allow for a direct comparison, the owner of a $147,059 home last year paid $925 on the district’s share of their tax bill. This year, the owner of a $150,000 home will pay an estimated $877.

The owner of a $245,000 home last year paid $1,684 in school district taxes. This year, the owner of a $250,000 home will pay an estimated $1,602.

Rosemount residents might have seen a similar decline in their school tax bill, but they voted in November to tax themselves. By a better than two-to-one margin, voters approved an operating levy that will raise an additional $10 million per year for schools.

As a result, the District 196 School Board approved a $79.2 million levy Monday that is up nearly $4.5 million from last year’s levy.

“I think it’s a good value to our community only looking at a 6 percent increase,” finance director Jeff Solomon said.

Prior to the November vote, the district estimated its levy would decline by about 5 percent.

With the approval of the property tax levy Monday, the owner of a $223,817 home — the district average — can expect to pay $1,153 in school district taxes in 2014. Last year, the owner of a $223,817 home paid $1,104.82. That increase is slightly less than the district predicted when it was spreading the word about its levy vote.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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