Most homeowners to pay same or less for District 196 portion of property tax

Most homeowners in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District will pay less toward the district’s portion of property taxes in 2013.

On Dec. 11, the School Board unanimously approved a payable 2013 property tax levy of $73.8 million, which is 2.8 percent less than in payable 2012.

The district’s general fund levy — money that is used for operating expenses — was set at $53.4 million, which is a 2.4 percent decrease from 2012.

The lower levy is due, in part, to equalization aid the district received by the state to counter declining property values, Jeff Solomon, finance director for District 196, said in a Sept. 24 meeting. This aid resulted in a $500,000 savings, he 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 every year since payable 2010 when the levy was $79.3 million.

Solomon said he expects most homeowners will pay either the same or less in district taxes in payable 2013.

For instance, the owner of an average value home of $216,768 can expect to pay $1,066 in the district’s portion of property taxes in 2013, which is $62 less than the previous year.

As the district’s portion of property taxes falls, home values continue to slide. The average home value of $232,258 in 2012 is expected to fall by nearly $15,500 in 2013.

The public was invited to speak about the tax levy at the board’s meeting Tuesday, but no one did.

The School Board is expected to vote on the district’s final budget on Jan. 7.