Parkland Press

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Tax increase lowered

Thursday, May 30, 2019 by SUSAN RUMBLE Special to The Press in Local News

Parkland School District officials announced a drop in the proposed tax increase for the 2019-20 term from the 2.27 percent at the budget seminar in April to 1.88 percent at the May 21 school board meeting.

Business Manager John Vignone commented on the action.

“This was a well thought out decision,” Vignone said. “It is based on financial stability and positive revenue trends.”

The millage rate now stands at 15.71, a 0.29-mill increase over the previous year.

For every $100,000 of assessed value, property owners will pay an additional $29. At budget seminar, the figure was $35.

For the median assessed home in Parkland valued at $228,300, the tax increase would be $66.21 for 2019-20.

Vignone pointed out the 2.41-percent increase in real estate assessment is very beneficial to incoming funds.

He noted the majority of income for the school district comes from local sources rather than from state or federal programs.

Other significant revenue increases include earned income tax, a $400,000 increase; real estate transfer fees, a $550,000 gain; and interest on investments, up $200,000 over the previous term.

One mill of property tax is projected to produce $7.97 million for the district at a 97 percent collection rate.

Vignone turned attention to the fund balance which he said is similar to a savings account.

At the budget seminar, a $5.9 million appropriation was planned from the fund balance.

The revised proposal includes a $6.4 million appropriation from the fund.

This amount will offset the tax levy by 0.80 mills.

“Increased funding sources allowed the district to appropriate more fund balance,” Vignone said.

After hearing the proposed changes to the mill rate which had been presented at seminar, the board voted to approve the proposed $186,470,379 budget for 2019-20.

The financial document reflects a 3.97-percent increase in expenditures over 2018-19.

That $179.35 million budget required a tax increase of 1.92 percent.

Superintendent Richard Sniscak commented on the proposed new financial plan.

“This budget represents the most essential educational needs of students while considering our current economic climate and the ability and willingness of our community to support a quality, comprehensive educational program,” Sniscak said. “We focused on controlling expenditures while striving to raise the bar for student achievement.”

The board is expected to vote on the final budget during the June 25 meeting.