By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Chase County School board members are asking for $308,000 in additional property tax support for its 2014-15 budget compared to the past year, but the levy will drop almost 22 cents from 81.6 to 59.7.
That’s thanks to a whopping 43 percent property valuation increase across the CCS district this year.
The final touches were put on the CCS budget at the board’s Sept. 9 meeting after a public hearing.
The General Fund’s property tax request of $6,407,194.29 to support the spending is up about 4.5 percent over last year’s General Fund tax askings of $6,129,292.87.
The only other fund in the budget being supported with property taxes for 2014-15 is the Quality Capital Purpose Undertaking Fund, or Q-PUF, which is being used to pay off the school’s H/VAC improvement project completed two years ago.
A total of $444,213.13 in property taxes will be used this year in payments toward that work. Board members expect to drop the Q-PUF property tax request to about $305,000 next year. The project is scheduled be paid off in eight more years.
The school’s general operating budget of $8,128,000 with a $1.6 million cash reserve for 2014-15 totaling $9,728,000 was approved on a 9-0 vote. It varies slightly from the advertised figures.
After a lengthy discussion, board members decided not to add $200,000 to the building fund this year or $200,000 for the bond fund as had been advertised.
According to the discussion, money from the school’s building and depreciation funds will be used to pay off the remaining $480,000 bond on the school’s portion of the swimming pool/concession complex. That will pay off the original 20-year bond after just five years.
CCS is also scheduled to replace the final section of roof on the main East 9th St. building next summer. Board members plan to use a combination of the General Fund’s building improvement category and depreciation fund money to pay for the estimated $350,000 roof replacement.
The school’s building fund totals $359,172 at the present time, while the depreciation fund stands at $516,281.
CCS will see another year of lower state aid to support the budget. For 2014-15, the district will receive $115,491 in state aid, compared to $177,725 the past year.
Governmental boards are all dealing with major valuation increases of property in their jurisdictions.
In Chase County alone, the CCS district’s valuation grew from $761,086,210 in 2013 to this year’s valuation of $1,089,258,365, or 47 percent.
In the Dundy County section of the CCS district, it grew from $40,173,535 last year to $57,477,541.
All together, the CCS valuation is up 43 percent in 2014. That’s almost double the 2013 valuation increase of $150 million, or 22.7 percent.