Setting the school district’s property tax levy is one of the first steps the School Board takes to plan the 2019-20 budget. That started Sept. 24 when Finance and Operations Director DeeDee Kahring presented the preliminary tax levy.
Kahring explained the proposal to increase the district’s tax levy by 5.88 percent will not increase taxes on most properties in Eastern Carver County Schools (the cities of Chaska, Chanhassen, Carver and Victoria). This is because that proposed increased is offset by two factors: There are more properties in the school district, and property values are increasing. School district taxes, overall, have been declining since 2015 due to the growing tax base, and conservative fiscal management by the School Board and district administration.
After reviewing the preliminary tax levy, it can be adjusted based on improved enrollment estimates and any corrections from the Minnesota Department of Education. The final levy is approved at another public meeting in December.
The School Board sets a tax levy each year. Items under direct board control are small compared to decisions by Eastern Carver County Schools voters and state law. Voters in the school district have approved referendums that comprise 84 percent of the levy the school board is considering for next year. The remaining 16 percent are based on decisions at the state level and, to a lesser degree, school district and School Board decisions. In the big-picture view of school funding, local property taxes are just under one-quarter of the revenue received by Eastern Carver County Schools. Minnesota has state-wide funding for public education. State law provides for 72 percent of our revenue, 2 percent is federal revenue and another 4 percent comes from fees, activity admission fees, donations and other sources.
The chart below shows an estimate of the annual school district tax for various home values, including proposed 2019. Individual property taxes will vary due to a variety of factors that can change the tax on each property.