by Alan McArthur
The Park Hill School Board is now considering lowering the overall levy for the district after a public hearing to be held on Thursday, August 28.
Previously Paul Kelly, assistant superintendent for business and technology, had recommended increasing the tax levy to the ceiling because, he said, of the recently passed Senate Bill 711. The bill forces taxing entities to roll back their tax levy during reassessment years to prevent a windfall from an increase in property values.
The originally proposed increase would have raised the operating levy by 4.53 cents per $100 assessed valuation, bringing the operating levy to $4.6920. With the district's debt service levy remaining steady at $0.6562, the total levy would have been $5.3029 per $100 valuation.
Officials then announced the district could lower the debt service levy to $0.6109 in order to keep the overall levy at $5.3029 per $100 valuation.
On Thursday, Kelly announced the district could actually lower the debt service levy to $0.6107 in order to decrease the overall levy by $0.0002 per $100 valuation.
The decrease in the debt service levy will mean the district will collect $2,751 less than at the higher rate. The decrease breaks down to a savings of 7.6 cents on a tax bill for a $200,000 home. The homeowner's tax bill would be decreased from $2,015.11 to $2,015.03 for the Park Hill district.
Kelly said officials have evaluated the district's debt and found they can reduce the debt service levy further.
“The board has been proactive to refinance the debt and we feel we can make this move and still be safe to pay off the debt,” said Kelly.
Kelly explained that the reduction will still allow the district to have no-tax increase issues on ballots in the future if they are needed. Kelly also said that if the district does not incur more debt by 2010, the debt levy could go down further.
The district will hold a public hearing to discuss the tax levy at the August 28 meeting at 7 p.m. After the hearing, the board will vote to set the tax levy.