MAHTOMEDI — The school board reauthorized the $300 amount per student it has authority to receive from taxpayers at a meeting July 12. 

The reauthorization will last five years. The state allows school boards to receive a certain amount from taxpayers per student without being voter-approved. The previous authorization was also for five years and for $300, approved by the board in 2014.

School board member Lucy Payne expressed concern that the state-approved amount had not increased along with inflation over the last five years. Many of the district's budget restraints are tied to state funding not keeping up with inflation, she noted.

Regular state funding has only increased nominally over the last 15 years, Finance Director Bill Menozzi has said. If the amount had kept up with inflation, it would be $600 higher per student. 

State aid comprises 73 percent of the district's budget. About 21 percent of the district's revenue comes from local property taxes, including the $300 board-approved levy amount. 

The district is asking for an increase to the voter-approved levy amount this November. The proposed 10-year levy is tiered, which means the amount increases every three years to keep up with increasing costs.

The levy would increase the voter-approved amount per student by about $275 in 2019, 2022 and 2025. The current voter-approved amount is $744 and if the new levy is approved, it would be $1,570 per student in 2025.

For an average residential market value $350,000 home, annual taxes would increase by about $159 every three years.

Combined with the $300 the board has authority to add, the current total $1,044 referendum authority is among the lowest in the northeast metro.

The levy would provide the district with about $1 million.

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