Property taxpayers will get a measure of relief resulting from the 2014 South Tama School District budget. The tax asking per $1,000 valuation is set at $16.03 compared to the $16.11 2013 rate. That amount was up 15.7 percent.
The total budget approved on a 5-0 vote on Monday, April 8 is $19,368,558, up 3/4s of one percent from $19,218,633 re estimated 2013 budget. Voting in favor were directors Michelle Yuska, Mark McFate, Anne Michael, Ron Hala and Jackie Dvorak.
The amount to be raised from property taxes is $5,103,556 compared to $4,819,915 for the current year.
Mary Boege, South Tama business manager, told The Chronicle the budget was adopted "with a zero percent allowable growth since that is the current law. If the district would receive at least the 2% allowable growth that has been proposed our tax rate would drop to $15.90 per $1,000 taxable valuation."
In the new budget there's a big drop in spending - some $825,000 - in facilities acquisition and construction.
In the current budget, Boege said the district matched a grant totaling $157,000 to pay for a new heating and cooling control system for the high school. Other expenses in this category this year included new gym lights, masonry repairs and asphalt work at the high school "plus a lot of little repair items that add up" at the high school, Boege said in an email . See chart- Page 3.
What was described by then-business manager Joanna Hofer as "a near perfect storm" caused the jump in property tax askings last year.
School officials said last year the budget could have a nearly $725,000 deficit without the tax boost. A combination of a 10 percent state funding cut ordered by Gov. Chet Culver in 2010 and required repayment of over $600,000 to the federal government in unspent special education money were some of the factors cited for the increased asking.