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Grand Island School Board adopts proposed budget with 2.62 percent tax levy hike

The Grand Island School Board unanimously approved Tuesday a proposed $62.6 million budget for 2017-18 that would increase taxes for property owners.

Voters will be asked to approve the proposed budget on May 16.

The proposed $844,996 increase in the tax levy, which is the overall amount to be raised by taxes, equals the state tax cap of 2.62 percent. The tax levy would be $32.2 million in 2017-18.

If approved, the current tax rate of $19.09 per $1,000 of assessed valuation would raise 31 cents to $19.40 per $1,000. That would result in the owner of a home assessed at $180,000 – the average assessment in the Town of Grand Island – paying $45 more per year in school taxes with a Star exemption. Without a Star exemption, the increase would be about $56 per year, said Robert McDow, assistant superintendent of school business and finance.

The overall budget includes a spending increase of 2.7 percent from the current budget of $60.9 million.

There are no proposed cuts in staffing or programs, according to McDow. He said the proposed budget includes funding for a summer school program for the middle school and a part-time school psychologist.

In addition to the budget, voters will be asked to approve a $663,470 proposition to buy seven school buses. The district provides its own bus service and buses are purchased on an annual basis, said McDow. Voters will also be asked to fill two seats on the school board.

Voting will be held from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 16 in the Grand Island High School gym, 1100 Ransom Road.

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