COLUMBUS — Slower growth in property values and a sharp dip in state aid to education made Columbus Public Schools’ goal of lowering its property tax levy pretty difficult for the 2017-18 budget cycle.
“It was a little more of a challenge than some years,” said Dave Melick, the district's executive director of business operations and human relations, while unveiling the 2017-18 spending blueprint for school board members.
Melick presented a proposed $66.6 million budget that includes a property tax request of nearly $18.3 million for the district’s general fund.
The district’s overall budget sank about $13 million, from just under $80 million to this year’s $66.6 million.
The school board has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed budget for 6 p.m. Monday at the ESU7/CPS Student Center.
The district’s 2016-17 budget included a tax request of nearly $18.5 million. State aid fell about $650,000, from nearly $12.2 million last year to $11.5 million.
“There was a little less property tax asking and there was a sizable drop in state aid,” Melick said.
The total property tax levy for the district’s 2017-18 spending plan is $1.2428 per $100 of assessed valuation. That amount is down slightly from the 2016-17 levy of $1.252.
This year's levy would have the owner of a $100,000 home paying $1,242 in annual property taxes to support the school district, a drop of $10 from 2016-17.
“The property tax levy level is not coming down by a lot, but it is coming down,” Melick said.
Tax bills for individual properties vary from year to year depending on revaluation numbers.
The total valuation of property within the district in Platte County grew just 0.6 percent to a total of nearly $1.87 billion. That figure makes up about 99 percent of the district's total property valuations.
The district’s total property value rose just $11.5 million for the coming year, a steep dive from the $128 million in valuation growth in 2016-17. The land valuation totaled $1.855 billion last year.
The district’s property valuation climbed 7.4 percent last year, more than double the jump from 2015.
Butler and Polk counties account for about $10.5 million in CPS’ overall land valuations.
“The valuation was way under the five-year average (increase) of 3.2 percent,” Melick said.