Property tax levy to drop in District 196

Homeowners can expect to pay the same or less in 2013

The Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School Board is considering lowering its property tax levy in 2013, and as a result homeowners will likely pay the same or less in the district’s portion of taxes, officials say.

On Sept. 24, the board unanimously approved a preliminary levy of $73.9 million, which is 2.53 percent less than in payable 2012. The district’s preliminary general fund levy — money that is not designated to specific services — was set at $30.49 million, which is a 1.06 percent decrease from 2012.

The lower levy was due, in part, to equalization aid the district received by the state to counter declining property values, said Jeff Solomon, finance director for District 196. This aid resulted in a $500,000 savings, he said.

“This is nothing unique to our district,” Solomon said.

The district’s debt reduction efforts and efficiencies in managing its facilities also contributed to the lower property tax levy.

District 196’s property tax levy has fallen since payable 2010 when the levy was $79.3 million.

Solomon said he expects homeowners will pay either the same or less in the district portion of property taxes in 2013.

In payable 2012, for instance, the owner of a $232,399 home — the average value in District 196 — paid $1,128 toward the district’s portion of property taxes.

The School Board is expected to vote on a final 2013 property tax in December. The final levy can be lower but not higher than the preliminary one, Solomon said