Dist. 205 approves tentative tax levy, will decide on school boundaries next month

The District 205 Board of Education approved, tentatively, the 2019 tax levy at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations for the school district, Jennifer Hamm, told the board that, in keeping with trends, the administration is expecting a three percent increase in the equalized assessed value of the district.

While the district is expecting the increase in the EAV, Hamm says that it’s not going to lead to much of a revenue gain because of an increase in bond payments.

“Once again, the rate we’re proposing is a steady $4.83 rate. We’re anticipating a three percent increase. With actually revenue increase, because our bond payments did increase by about $500,000, we’re only actually looking at about $63,000 in new revenue — almost $64,000.”

A $4.83 tax rate matches the rate from the last two years and was a 2.5 percent decrease from 2016, effectively keeping the tax rate flat.

Final approval will be made next month.

The indication from school board members is that elementary school boundaries will be considered at the December meeting.

Several parents spoke ahead of the meeting, asking the board to consider other options for the boundaries, asking for more transparency.

Several members of the board, who are also parents of kids affected by the proposed boundary shift, shared the same concerns but said they’re doing what’s best for the district.

“I too have a daughter that will not go to where ‘sissy’ went to school,” said board member Rodney Phelps. “So, we’ve had some discussions and I told her that it wasn’t easy and I applaud you folks for speaking up. Change isn’t easy in today’s society but everything we’re doing is [based on] the best info we have and the best we can do. I can tell you that these new facilities are going to be impressive.”

Much of the boundary discussion covered bussing for the proposed school boundaries and how logistically it would work to get students to school.

Discussion included looking into a way for parents to opt-in for bussing when it was needed instead of sending busses on rural routes when parents almost never utilized the service.

Below are the proposed boundaries for District 205.

Proposed Rural Boundaries

Proposed City Boundaries

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