By Julie Ann Madden
At a special meeting April 8, the Akron-Westfield School Board fulfilled the pledge they’d made to constituents last Fall.
“We made the pledge to the public — you pas the Physical Plant & Equipment Levy (PPEL), we’ll lower the tax rate,” explained A-W/West Sioux Shared Superintendent Randy Collins. “Our goal was to lower the tax rate by 30 cents. That’s what we’re expecting.”
The current mill levy is $14.15565, according to A-W Business Manager Jodi Ryan. “(With the state legislature still working on what percentage of Allowable Growth to approve,) my guess is our tax rate will be around $13.85 — at the 2 percent Allowable Growth rate.”
The school board was presented with five mill levy rates, ranging from zero percent to 4 percent Allowable Growth. The mill levies were from $13.82752 to $13.99811, which was the rate published.
School districts cannot approve higher than the amount published but they can approve a tax rate lower than that, she explained.
School officials recommended passing the budget with the highest mill levy and approving a request for Budget Guarantee funds.
Board Member Roger Oetken made the motion to approve the budget with the highest mill levy of $13.99811, and Board Member Nick Schoenfelder seconded it. The vote was unanimous, 7-0.
Ryan noted the district would only receive Budget Guarantee dollars if the Allowable Growth was zero or 1 percent. If legislators approve a 2 percent Allowable Growth or more, then Akron-Westfield would not receive any Budget Guarantee dollars.
As she projected a 2 percent Allowable Growth, she explained the district probably wouldn’t get any Budget Guarantee dollars.
However, Collins noted most Iowa school districts approve the Budget Guarantee Resolution annually.
“It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it,” said Collins.
Ryan also informed the board that in addition to cutting the mill levy about 30 cents, the income surtax was dropped form $2.05 to $2.04.
“We’re getting about $165,000 in PPEL to buy down the tax rate $170,000,” said Ryan.
Board Member Jodi Thompson made the motion to approve a resolution requesting Budget Guarantee dollars and Schoenfelder seconded it. The vote was unanimous.