Voters in the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District on Election Day will decide whether to pay an estimated $1.7 million more each year in overall property taxes for the district.
The ballot question will ask voters to revoke the two existing voter-approved operating levies and replace them with a single levy that would provide the district with the maximum per-student amount under state law, about $1,900, for the next 10 years.
That’s around $263 more per pupil next fiscal year, though the ballot question would authorize a funding increase of up to $384. The difference gives the district some wiggle room to levy more if the state increases the maximum amount allowed in the future.
A property owner of a $250,000 property would see an estimated $6 monthly tax increase, according to Ehlers, a district financial consultant. A property owner of a $700,000 property would see an estimated $18 monthly increase.
The money would go to the general fund, which pays for district salaries, student support services and other educational programs.
District officials say the referendum is a part of their overall efforts to address budget shortfalls. The board expects $5.5 million in budget cuts in 2020-2021, the latest in several rounds of cuts as enrollment falls and government aid for special education falls short of the need.
The 2019-2020 budget locked $6.6 million in cuts and reductions, including cutting athletic programs below the high school level. Officials plan to reach a decision next month about whether to close several schools next year to cut costs.