Mill levy set at $300K; Butte school district election is set for May 7

2013-04-04T00:45:00Z Mill levy set at $300K; Butte school district election is set for May 7By Piper Haugan of The Montana Standard Montana Standard

The Butte school district is hoping Butte voters approve in May a mill levy worth $300,000 for the high school’s general fund to keep operations going.

The vote for the mill levy will take place May 7.

This year’s tax increase to fund the high school is slightly higher than last year’s, according to the district’s finance director J.R. Richardson. The $300,000 mark is equivalent to raising about 5.34 mills. Last year’s mill levy was worth $196,000, or about 3.65 mills.

As in years past, Richardson said the district may not need to levy the entire amount.

At the projected value, owners of $100,000 homes can expect to pay $7.39 more in taxes. Those who own $200,000 homes will pay about double that, or $14.78 more.

Ninety-two percent of the high school general fund covers personnel costs, utilities and other fixed costs like insurance, Richardson said.

Because of enrollment and state funding, the elementary school’s general fund is not eligible to raise money through a mill levy this year.

The numbers aren’t set in stone, however, Richardson said, because the district doesn’t yet know the value of a mill this year, and the district won’t know its year-end cash balance until the end of the fiscal year in July.

In addition, the district is keeping an eye on the Legislature to see how legislators vote on school funding from the state.

Two bills, House Bill 378 and Senate Bill 175, would increase state funding of schools throughout Montana. HB 378 would allow for inflationary adjustments, and passed the House recently. It will soon be before the Senate for consideration. SB 175 would increase school funding in several areas. It has passed the Senate and is on its way through the House.

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