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Grand Island Public Schools levy to decrease slightly

Grand Island Public Schools levy to decrease slightly

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Grand Island Public Schools taxpayers will see a decrease in their property taxes under the proposed fiscal 2020-21 budget presented during a budget workshop Thursday evening to the GIPS Board of Education.

According to information presented by GIPS Chief Financial Officer Virgil Harden, the proposed overall levy for fiscal 2020-21 is $1.2578 per $100 valuation, which is a 1.3 cent decrease from last year’s levy of $1.2712 per $100 valuation. This means a taxpayer with a home valued at $100,000 would pay $1,257.80 in property taxes to GIPS — $13 less than last year.

The general fund budget — where most services for the school district are accounted — is $141.47 million for the proposed fiscal 2020-21 budget, up from $131.68 million last year. The general fund levy will remain the same as last year at $1.04 per $100 valuation.

Harden said the beginning balance in the fiscal 2019-20 budget was $26.54 million.

The total revenue was $113.52 million and the expenditures were $114.1 million, for an ending balance of $25.96 million.

“We had some extraordinary events in the 2019-20 school year. We lost some money due to the mold situation at Grand Island Senior High,” Harden said of last year’s expenditures. “We also had to do some additional construction for an additional storage unit at GISH because of the Memorial Stadium project. Plus, there was COVID-19. These are things that, hopefully, are one-time, extraordinary events.”

GIPS is expected to receive $3.525 billion in property valuations in fiscal 2020-21 — an increase of $174.36 million, or 5.2% — compared with last year’s total of $3.35 billion in property valuations.

Harden said with the additional $174,360,631 in valuation levied with the $1.04 general fund, this represents an increase of $1,813,351 in general fund revenue.

When it comes to state aid, GIPS expects to receive $59.35 million in fiscal 2020-21, compared with $57.99 million last year, representing a $1.36 million increase.

Harden said with the increase in valuation and state aid, the overall general revenue for fiscal 2020-21 is expected to be $3.17 million more than last year’s budget for a total of $116.69 million.

The proposed 2020-21 operating budget for the bond funds K-12 — used to record tax receipts, investment interest and payment of bond principal and interest — is $6.75 million, down significantly from last year’s budget of $86.75 million. Harden said this change is due to GIPS refinancing its bonds.

The proposed bond funds K-12 levy is 17.8 cents per $100 valuation, down slightly from last year’s levy of 19.1 cents per $100 valuation. This reflects the only change in the fiscal 2020-21 levy compared with last year’s.

The special building fund budget — used to acquire or improve sites and/or to erect, alter or improve buildings — is $10 million in the proposed fiscal 2020-21 budget, down from $15 million in the fiscal 2019-20 budget.

The special building fund levy for the proposed budget is 0.01 per $100 valuation, representing no change in the levy from the previous year.

For the qualified capital purpose undertaking fund — used to remove environmental hazards and/or eliminate accessibility barriers — the budget is $2.2 million, compared with $8.1 million in the previous budget year. The proposed levy for this fund for the fiscal 2020-21 budget is 3 cents per $100 valuation, which is the same amount as last year.

GIPS hosted a budget and levy hearing following the budget workshop Thursday evening. No one from the public spoke at either hearing.

The budget is expected to be adopted at the board’s Sept. 10 meeting.

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