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By Hannah Kibler
The Cerro Gordo school board discussed estimates for next year’s tax levy at its monthly meeting Nov. 22, and will be required to hold a truth in taxation hearing before approving it next month.
Because the actual equalized assessed valuation (EAV) of properties within the district cannot be determined until May of next year, the district must use estimates from the county assessor when deciding how much to levy. To offset the possibility that the estimates of EAV provided were too low, it is common practice for a district to ask for more than it expects to receive in order to ensure it can legally access what it is entitled to later.
“We are estimating that the overall levy excluding bond and interest will be 8.74 percent higher than last year’s overall levy, however that is an inflated amount. If the county assessor’s estimates are correct it will probably be closer to 4.1 percent.” said Superintendent Brett Robinson, noting that the district cannot actually receive more than the dollar total they approve.
“I do not anticipate any significant change in the tax rate which was $4.34 per $100 of EAV this fiscal year.” said Robinson, with estimates for next year falling between $4.32 and $4.37 for every $100 of equalized assessed valuation.
Robinson pointed out that even in the case that the highest possible increase of three cents per $100 of assessed valuation did occur, the rate would still be well below what the district’s overall levy was in 2007 which was $4.62 per $100 of EAV; a decrease he attributed to having more property value to spread the total levy across along with the reduction in what the district has been levying for its non-capped funds over the last several years. The board is set to vote on how much to levy at the truth in taxation hearing which will be held at 6:45 p.m.Wednesday, Dec. 19 (15 minutes before the regularly scheduled board meeting).
In other news elementary school principal Jodi Neaveill reported that the elementary school would be receiving a $4,954 grant that elementary teachers Lori Bullock and Yvette Casner had written for. The “integrating literacy with technology” grant will be utilized to purchase 12 ipads for use in Bullock’s 4th grade classroom.
“I’m thrilled that they applied for the grant, and I can’t wait to see the kids using them” said Neaveill of the ipads, which the class will be using for both research and presentation purposes.
Superintendent Robinson also reported that Pro-Max construction in Decatur had donated $600 to the district, which was used to purchase warm-ups for the middle school boy’s basketball team. In exchange for the donation the business will receive a sign on the football field fence, an agreement which board members noted they would welcome other businesses to participate in as well.
Students of the month include Vanessa Gower in the sixth grade, Ashlan Bussman in seventh, Alaira Guiffrida in eighth, and high schooler Andrew Watts.
New hires include Jamison Holt and Jason Jacobs as high school scholastic bowl co-sponsors and Kayla West as a volunteer assistant high school girl’s basketball coach. Additionally, Frankie Martin will be returning to coaching high school girl’s track.