By Jerome Tharaud/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
Havre trustees passed the final elementary and high school budgets Tuesday night, and despite a funding hit from dwindling enrollment in the elementary district this year, local property owners will see a very small tax increase.
School district clerk Ric Floren told the board that a property owner with a $100,000 home will see a little less than a $3 tax increase. That increase is a result of various tax cuts made by the Legislature, he said, which have resulted in a decrease of the value of a mill over the last several years.
"We feel very confident with the budgets that are being recommended to you," Superintendent Kirk Miller told the board before the vote.
The board passed the $7.9 million elementary school budget and the $5.9 million high school budget without a dissenting vote on Tuesday. The elementary budget is about $900,000 smaller than last year's budget, while the high school budget is about $250,000 larger, Floren said this morning.
In the elementary budget, part of that decrease was in the $5.8 million general fund, which was reduced by about $283,676 from last year's level because enrollment dropped by about 83 students this year.
In the high school budget, an enrollment increase of 13 students meant an increase of about $150,000 in the general fund to about $4 million.
The elementary district will levy to raise about $1.84 million in tax revenue this year, and the high school district will bring in about $1.36 million, Floren said.
The rest of the budgets are funded by sources like motor vehicle fees, oil and gas revenue, state funding and one-time funds like those used this year to balance the budget, Floren said.
The value of a mill fell about $350 this year in the elementary school district, from $15,034 to $14,689. In the high school district, the mill value decreased about $400, from $17,509 to $17,074. The number of mills levied ncreased slightly to compensate for the decline, from 123.24 mills last year to 125.24 in the elementary district and from 67.46 mills last year to 79.65 mills in the high school district.
The board approved preliminary budgets on June 10 after cutting about $85,000 from the elementary budget and making up for a remaining shortfall with about $150,000 in rainy-day funds the district set aside over the last few years. Some of the money will still be left next year to help the district make ends meet.
Floren said no changes were made to the budgets after the board passed the preliminary budgets on June 10.