Mon, Feb. 24

Enrollment drop lowers Mingus M&O budget
Decreased valuations drive up property tax rate

COTTONWOOD - The Mingus Union School District's maintenance and operation budget is down $185,198, or 2.8 percent, for fiscal year 2013 from the current year's budget.

"The two primary drivers for this decrease is a 3.3-percent drop in average daily enrollment and the fact that there is no unexpended budget balance carry forward from 2012 to 2013," said Kirk Waddle, business director for the district.

Waddle said the district has no override election next year, and there are no plans for capital improvements.

"Employees did get raises," he said. "On average, it was a 4-percent increase for each classification." That includes teachers, administration and classified staff.

Waddle explained that a preliminary estimate of property tax rates shows the combined primary and secondary property tax rate increasing 15.4 percent. According to Waddle, the tax on a house valued at $200,000 would be $433 using the new rate, which is a $57 increase over this year's rate.

"This increase is due entirely to the decrease in assessed valuations," Waddle said. "The primary assessed value in the district decreased 14 percent, and the secondary assessed values decreased 15 percent."

Waddle pointed out that it is important to note that the district's budget is smaller than the prior year.

A public hearing on the adoption of the budget will be held July 12 at 10:30 a.m. at the District Office at 1801 E. Fir St. in Cottonwood.

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