At a time when other districts are trimming schedules and programs to cope with state budget cuts, Peabody-Burns school board is poised to reduce by 12 mills its local property tax levy for next year.
Superintendent Ron Traxson said coupled with this year’s 4.5 mill decrease, an owner of a $100,000 home would see a $190 drop in their property tax bill from last year to next.
“This timely event occurs because Peabody-Burns USD 398 is paying off the bond on the Junior-Senior High School constructed in 1996 this next year,” Traxson said.
The good news on property taxes comes as the district prepares to send out ballots to district patrons to vote on an increase in the local option budget cap (LOB) to 33 percent.
“The time could not be any better considering the opportunity to pass the LOB authority,” Traxson said. “Our district has the unique opportunity to take advantage of increasing from a 30 percent cap to 33 percent and also enjoy a major drop in property taxes throughout the district.”
The local option budget cap is the amount of the district’s budget that can come from local sources. Increasing the cap will give the district an advantage when addressing curricular needs and stability, Traxson said.
The board elected last year to implement a five-year improvement plan instead of pursuing a facilities bond based on approval of the LOB increase.
“It just made a lot more sense to go with a plan that gives the district the ability to control the finances instead of accepting a rate over a fixed amount of time,” Traxson said.
The final public information meeting for the proposed LOB increase will be 6:30 p.m. Friday at the PBHS cafeteria.
The Marion County Election Office will coordinate the election and mail ballots on April 20 to all registered voters in the Peabody-Burns School District. Ballots must be marked and signed in blue or black ink. Return postage-paid envelopes will be provided. Ballots must be received by the clerk’s office by noon May 5.