By Alan Sorensen
The Havre Public Schools Board of Trustees gave its unanimous approval to the districts final budget update for the 1999-2000 school year, fiscal year 2000.
Trustees approved the budget in August, Superintendent Kirk Miller said, pending the determination of taxable valuations by state and county assessors.
Those valuations have been determined and are substantially lower than before.
The taxable valuation of property within the high school district dropped from $21,664,488 to $20,527,472 for a loss of $1,137,016. That 5.25 percent decrease in valuation translated into a $1,137.02 loss for each mill requested of the taxpayers.
Elementary district valuations decreased from $18,548,906 to $17,472,340 for a 5.8 percent decline. That decline translated to a loss of $1,076.56 for each mill requested.
The districts revenues will take another hit beginning the first of the year, Miller said, because of the reduced motor vehicle tax rate. The reduction is from 2 percent to 1.4 percent. Havre Public Schools collected more than $400,000 from the motor vehicle taxes last year.
Despite the shrinking tax bases, elimination of several business taxes, and major reductions in corporate energy tax rates, both districts managed to stick to the mills approved by voters last spring, Miller said.
When all is said and done , Miller said, we have fulfilled the Trustees commitment to mills in FY00 of 169.11, no increase over the previous year, FY99.
The total number of local dollars figured into the elementary and high school budgets remains unchanged, too, at $3,123,370.
The districts goal in the future, Miller said, will be to remind taxpayers of the reductions over the past few years as trustees ask them for more money or further reduce services.
In other action, trustees gave permission for 25 or so Havre High students attending the state Student Council convention in Glasgow to stay in private homes.
The convention is scheduled for Oct. 25-27, HHS Student Congress faculty advisor Dana West said, with about 500 student government representatives expected to attend from around the state.
Trustees also gave approval for members attending the Montana Conference of Educational Leadership in Bozeman to vote their consciences on Montana School Boards Association resolutions. The trustees ask that their representatives make decisions favorable to Havre Public Schools after listening to discussion on each issue.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at Havre Middle School.